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New Orleans, Louisiana
In a huge setback for Big Water's big plans to privatize water in big cities, New Orleans ended its long nightmarish flirtation with privatizing a combined water/wastewater operation in April, 2004. The ill-fated consideration ran up a price tag of roughly $5 million over more than five years and a pair of mayors. And what does New Orleans have to show for all that time and money?
Even before the New Orleans water privatization scheme was officially sunk, water corporation observers were ringing the death knell of so-called "showcase" long-term contracts in major metro areas-not so long ago the main strategy of the corporate water titans. The New Orleans plan, once hailed by corporate officials as yet another example of privatization's big trend in big cities, wound up as the dying gasp of a failed business model.
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