New Organization Focuses On Nation's Water Infrastructure
Water Partnership Council Created by Leading Industry Experts

Updated: Tue, Nov 13 7:03 AM EST

WASHINGTON (BUSINESS WIRE) - As the nation grapples with upgrading its infrastructure, a new organization has been created to focus on infrastructure to clean and supply the most essential requirement for life -- water.

The country's leading providers of operational services for water and wastewater treatment today announced the formation of the Water Partnership Council, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable water quality in the United States.

"From coast to coast, communities are faced with the need to spend millions of dollars to rehabilitate, repair and expand water and wastewater infrastructure systems," said Mike Stark, Water Partnership Council President. "Now, with the threats we face as a nation, there is an even greater commitment to ensuring and enhancing the safety and quality of our water resources. Our companies have agreed to come to the table and jointly contribute our expertise and resources to help meet the water infrastructure challenge."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it will cost taxpayers $151 billion over the next 20 years to overhaul the nation's water infrastructure and an additional $140 billion to improve the country's system for treating wastewater. "Through public-private partnerships, our companies are saving communities hundreds of millions of dollars," said Stark. "The private sector is and must be part of the solution."

Public-private partnerships are arrangements between public agencies responsible for water and wastewater treatment and private companies that provide operational services on a contractual basis.

During the Council's first year of operation, it will focus on helping municipalities examine the option of entering into and managing public-private partnerships to receive maximum benefits for their communities and residents. Simultaneously, the Council aims to work with Congress and EPA to ensure that the nation takes a business-like approach to managing these critically important water and wastewater assets. "Encouraging the consideration of public-private partnerships will help advance such an approach," Stark said. "Both the public and private sectors work hand-in-hand every day, and we're certain that the strengths of government and leading private-sector companies yield the best results for ratepayers when those respective strengths are combined."

The Council will develop various information guides and papers based on the successes of communities served by Council member companies. In addition to serving municipalities, many of the members also serve industrial clients. According to Stark, the member companies have consistently reduced water and wastewater treatment costs, while meeting the most stringent standards for safety and environmental quality. Stark said, "We have achieved these results by applying lessons learned in operating thousands of systems in this country and around the globe, by developing and applying the latest technologies and by harnessing economies of scale."

The Council's charter members include the following top executives of the leading water industry companies: Joe Burgess, Covanta Water, a division of Covanta Energy (NYSE:COV); Keith Oldewurtel, Earth Tech, a division of Tyco International (NYSE:TYC); Peter J. Moerbeek, ECO Resources, a subsidiary of Southwest Water Company (NASDAQ:SWWC); Don Evans, OMI, Inc.; David Chardavoyne, Thames Water North America, a subsidiary of RWE (DAX:RWE); Jean Michel Brault, United Water, a subsidiary of Suez (NYSE:SZE); Michael M. Stark, USFilter Services Group, a subsidiary of Vivendi Environnement (NYSE:VE); and Michael Belsante, U.S. Water. Combined, these organizations are operating over 1,000 municipal and industrial treatment facilities throughout the U.S.

About the Water Partnership Council

The Water Partnership Council was created to promote sustainable water quality in the United States by strengthening the nation's water and wastewater infrastructure. The Council is a not-for-profit organization comprised of representatives from the leading providers of water and wastewater treatment services, whose business is helping communities and companies meet their water and wastewater needs in the most environmentally sound and cost effective manner possible. Charter members of the Water Partnership Council include Covanta Water, Earth Tech, ECO Resources, OMI Inc., Thames Water North America, United Water, USFilter and U.S. Water. For more information, visit www.waterpartnership.org.