The following is a response from former NSWCA President and current Long Island Water Conference Chairman and NSWCA Executive Board member Andrew Bader to a recent Newsday editorial of March 31, 2021.
Consolidating LI water providers? A bad idea.
The real problem isn’t the number of water suppliers in Nassau County, it is the pricing/taxing structure of one investor-owned water supplier (“Public fix for private water,” Editorial March31). If the issues are resolved, the discussion of consolidation becomes null and void, as putting all water providers under one umbrella resolves nothing.
When has an all-encompassing Long Island utility proved it is more effective at providing service than a smaller one? Need we remind everyone of the failures of PSEG Long Island during Tropical Storm Isaias?
Consolidating water providers does not mean we need fewer water mains, wells or treatment facilities. There are little to no economies of scale in this regard. It also likely means the cost of water will go up for the majority of Long Islanders due to the significant debt burden. Why should the vast majority of residents who are happy with their water provider subsidize the cost for the buyout of another? What does the average resident gain?
Water is important, and consolidating control could be scary. The current structure provides accountability and responsiveness, things that can be lost with one overarching utility.
Andrew N. Bader, Plainview
Editor’s note: The writer is Long Island Water Conference Chairman and Executive Board member of Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioner’s Association.