Public forum discussing water system legislation to be held March 17

Press Release Mountain Voices Allince

A public water forum to update citizens on the developments surrounding the legislation to seize the Asheville water system and the ensuing lawsuit filed by the City will be held on Monday, March 17 from 6 to 7:30 pm. The discussion will feature Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, Barry Summers of Save Our Water WNC and Katie Hicks of Clean Water for North Carolina.

The free event will take place at Lord Auditorium, located in the lower level of Pack Library, 67 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville.

“Water is not just a natural resource needed to keep us alive,” said Summers. “It’s also an increasingly scarce, valuable commodity. Who controls the flow of water plays a role in development, industry, energy production, and many other aspects of the economy. We believe that this is at the heart of the Asheville water dispute.”

Summers, founder of Save Our Water WNC, will talk about the history of the attempt to seize Asheville’s water, which along with other legislative issues, suggests a broad assault on local, public control of this vital resource.
Manheimer will provide an update on the latest developments in the City’s lawsuit against the forced transfer of their water system.

Hicks, assistant director of Clean Water for North Carolina, will summarize the impacts on other communities when citizens have lost a direct voice in drinking water decisions. She’ll also share a brief update on recent high-profile toxic spills into the Dan River in North Carolina and the Elk River in West Virginia.

“In addition to highlighting the need for stricter regulations to protect our rivers and streams, these disasters can teach us a lesson about the importance of local, democratic, transparent governance of drinking water supplies when it comes to protecting public health,” says Hicks.
The event is co-sponsored by Mountain Voices Alliance, Save Our Water WNC, Clean Water for NC, Asheville PARC and WNC Alliance.


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