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Three bidders for Elorza’s water leasing plan revealed

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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza‘s Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for leasing the Providence Water Supply received three bids on Tuesday, from three water companies, Poseidon Water, Veolia Water and Suez North America. Details on the three offers are not known as yet.

The bids were opened during a meeting of the Providence Board of Contract and Supply, “which presides over all purchasing and procurement over $5,000 of materials, supplies, services, equipment, and all other necessary categories of procurement for the city of Providence.”

Elorza, who is chair of the Providence Board of Contract and Supply, was not in attendance, leaving Lawrence Mancini, Providence Director of Finance, to conduct the meeting. You can see and hear the bids being in the video below, courtesy of John Gonzalez. His full video of the meeting can be viewed here.

Posiedon Water, based in Boston, describes itself as “the partner of choice for local governments and industrial water users interested in investments in water infrastructure projects at lower cost and reduced risk.”

Veolia Water, says Wikipedia, “is the water division of the French company Veolia Environnement and the world’s largest supplier of water services.”


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Suez North America, formerly United Water, “owns and operates 16 water and waste water utilities, and operates 90 municipal water and waste water systems through public-private partnerships and contract agreements… United Water became a subsidiary of Suez Environnement, a French-based utility company, in 2000. It changed its name to reflect that of its parent company in 2015,” according to Wikipedia.

Elorza, during his campaign, pledged to lease the operations of Providence Water to plug a hole in Providence’s unfunded pension liability, based on a suggestion from this report.

The plan is opposed to activists who say that leasing the water will result in higher costs and lower water quality.


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com