In 2018, the residents of the small town of Northwood, New Hampshire, took over their local water system after years of problems with the privately-owned utility. The utility had been owned by a series of out-of-state companies, which had neglected maintenance and infrastructure improvements, resulting in frequent outages, low water pressure, and water quality issues.
The residents formed a community group called Northwood H2O, which secured funding from grants and donations to purchase the water system from the private utility company. The community group now manages the water system, including maintenance, repairs, and customer service.
Since the takeover, Northwood H2O has made significant improvements to the water system, including the installation of new infrastructure and the implementation of a regular maintenance schedule. The community group has also been able to keep water rates affordable for residents, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the water system.
The success of Northwood H2O in taking over their local water system has demonstrated the ability of communities to provide essential services, such as water, without the involvement of local government or private companies. It has also provided a model for other communities across the United States that are facing similar issues with privatized water systems.