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Company Privatization

Water worries [Editorial]

Water worries [Editorial]

If Baltimore were actually considering privatizing its water system, the 50 or so people who were protesting outside City Hall on Wednesday would have had a strong case to be upset. But it's not. Rather, Baltimore is looking for a consultant to evaluate the operation and maintenance of its aging system to find ways to increase efficiency — something that should be greatly in the public interest at a time when rates are constantly going up and broken water mains are distressingly common. Something needs to be done.

To give the protesters their due, there is reason to be skeptical about turning the system over to private operators. Academic studies of municipalities that have...