For more evidence on what does and does not matter, read this group project [PDF] by five UC Santa Barbara masters students.
Our research identified two primary differences between the public and privately owned water utilities in Thousand Oaks:Read the whole report (232 pp) to get a serious dose of facts.
There was no significant difference between the providers on the basis of infrastructure investment and condition, water quality, water conservation, or customer satisfaction.
- The privately owned water providers operate with greater efficiency than the public utility on three of the four indices of operational efficiency we evaluated;
- The publicly-owned water provider charged significantly lower rates in the privately owned water providers for the 15 year period examined.
Bottom Line: There are tradeoffs between public and private ownership. If they're weren't, ALL water would be provided by one or the other!