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Nassau County’s water supply could see a public takeover

Courtesy of Pixabay

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed two bills that could create North and South Shore water authorities in Nassau County. If the public takeover prevails, they would replace a private supplier, New York American Water, which is known to have the most expensive water prices in the region.

State Senator Jim Gaughran said the move would give residents more local control over their communities.

“It creates a water authority,” he said. “It will have local people appointed to run it from the community. And then they can decide to purchase the assets of the private company.”

The legislation also pauses a plan to sell New York American Water to another major private water company, Liberty Utility, which will become the largest utility in New York if it adds the 125,000 Long Island customers to its 14-state operation.

A state commission will decide whether to finalize the public takeover, instead of approving the deal.

“New York American Water has been in a position where we had to live with what they gave us, period, and we had to take it… [but] people here on Long Island are being killed by taxes,” state Senator John Brooks said. “We should not be taxing something that we need to support life.”

Leah is a former intern with WSHU Public Radio.