By Bob Weaver|
Charleston Mayor Jay Goldman took an interesting step this week, suggesting the city might do a buy-out of its water system
from Chris Jarrett, president of West Virginia-American Water Company.
Other towns in other states have have won some court victories and buy-back negotiations have started.
People in Pekin, Ill., are trying to buy their water system through eminent domain.
In Lexington, Kentucky, a mayor and several City Council members are supporting a citizens group - Bluegrass For Local
Ownership of Water (FLOW).
Most municipal systems in West Virginia were largely funded by taxpayer money, and American-West Virginia water is the
In the face of a multi-billion dollar water globalization effort to privatize water systems, there is a grassroots effort to put
private water systems back into public ownership, making them public utilities again.
The New Orleans Water and Sewage Board in October rejected the country's largest municipal water privatization
proposal. A coalition of churches, senior citizens and environmentalists opposed the sale to a French company.
The Charleston Gazette says, in this case, the common target is American Water Works, who have fought numerous court
battles in buy-back cases, spending $6 million in Illinois and Tennessee in 1998.
Lexington, Kentucky has hired a condemnation counsel.
Many political and business analysts say water may become one of the most valuable commodities in the 21st century, and
rural mountain areas like Calhoun County with its miles of hollows and most of West Virginia have potential to become one
of the largest storage fields and water exporters in the world.
Furthermore, it is the last vestige of holding a natural resource that might help stabilize the economy of West Virginia during
Currently, Attorney General Darrell McGraw, is legally protesting the sale of West Virginia water to foreign investors.