Impacts of public-private partnerships on U.S. communities, environment are positive

June 17, 2005
Water Partnership Council first report on topic released to mayors and other municipal officials attending U.S. Conference of Mayor's Annual Meeting...

WASHINGTON, DC, June 10, 2005 -- The Water Partnership Council released its first industry report on public-private partnerships to mayors and other municipal officials attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Annual Meeting.

Based on interviews with 31 community leaders currently engaged in public-private partnerships, An Evaluation of Public-Private Partnerships for Water and Wastewater Systems says satisfaction with partnerships is high, employees are satisfied, and impacts on the environment, customers and the community are positive.

"The Water Partnership Council has compiled the first statistical data about the impacts of public-private partnerships, and it comes straight from the people who know best: public officials who have partnerships in their communities today," says Leonard F. Graziano, Water Partnership Council president and CEO of Severn Trent Services. "Through this report, readers will gain an understanding of the positive impact partnerships can have on communities, the environment, customers and employees."

Key findings in this first-of-its-kind report include:
-- 50% of respondents rate overall satisfaction with the partnership as "extremely satisfied," the highest possible ranking. No respondents rate overall satisfaction as anything less than "satisfied."
-- 74% rate regulatory compliance as better under the partnership than prior to the partnership.
-- 92% of respondents that projected cost savings achieved those savings; the other 8% indicate it is too early in the partnership to tell.
-- 93% of respondents note that involuntary employee turnover declined or remained the same.
-- 93% of respondents say that employees have more training and professional growth opportunities than they did prior to the partnership.
-- 64% of respondents report a decrease in employee grievances under the partnership; none report an increase.
-- 93% of respondents note that private partners proactively participate in community activities above and beyond what's required in their contracts.

"As a city, we dabble in everything. They [the private partner] are specialized. They have the expertise that far exceeds what we could provide our customers," says Mayor Dean Mazzarella of Leominster, Mass., one of over a dozen public officials quoted in the 20-page report. Communities represented in the report serve populations ranging from 4,000 to 1.2 million.

The Water Partnership Council is a non-profit organization established by the leading providers of operational services for water and wastewater systems in the United States. The Council seeks to partner with citizens, local governments, and organizations committed to strengthening this country's water and wastewater infrastructure. Council members are American Water, OMI Inc., Severn Trent Services, Southwest Water Company Services Group, United Water and Veolia Water North America.

For more information about the Water Partnership Council, or to obtain a copy of the report, call (202) 466-5445 or visit www.waterpartnership.org.

In related news, see: "Severn Trent Services CEO to lead Water Partnership Council"

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