Baltimore has a serious water problem

The uninformed and inaccurate letter by Michael Deane (“Don’t let scare tactics dominate the debate about Baltimore’s water system,” Dec. 30) would be laughable if the water affordability crisis in Baltimore weren’t so dire. Mr. Dean, as president of an organization representing private companies that take over public water systems, calls the nonprofit Food & Water Watch one of several otherwise unnamed “shadowy outside groups” that spreads “misinformation.” Food and Water Watch is nothing of the kind. This nonprofit group operates from a modest office in Charles Village, meticulously researching the skyrocketing costs of running water and sewer to Baltimore citizens and lobbying elected officials to change the laws so city residents can afford water and keep their homes from tax sale.

When I spent more than six months researching the crisis for the Abell Foundation in 2016, I found Food & Water Watch’s research dead accurate and their motives pure: They just want to keep the water on for all Baltimoreans. Mr. Dean (who hails from outside Baltimore) makes no mention of his position on making water affordable in a city that has shut off water to hundreds of homes where its most vulnerable residents can’t pay their bills. The website for his organization, the National Association of Water Companies, is also silent on the topic.

Joan Jacobson, Baltimore

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