Everyone knows that water is the stuff of life. But is it best viewed as a commodity or as part of the commons? Should providing safe, affordable water be the role of governments, corporations, or partnerships between the two? On Tuesday, July 13 (dates may vary for local stations), the PBS show P.O.V. is airing "Thirst," a documentary by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman that addresses these and other issues about water privatization. In partnership with P.O.V., Grist is hosting a week-long debate on the merits of water privatization between Peter Cook, executive director of the National Association of Water …
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Peter Cook is Executive Director of the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), which represents the nation's private and investor-owned drinking water and wastewater utilities, as well as private service providers. Prior to that, he was deputy director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, among other posts at the agency. From 1979 to 1985, he served as deputy director of an independent federal agency established by Congress to oversee the construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, a $30 billion gas pipeline to transport North Slope gas to the Lower 48. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Clarkson College of Technology in 1966 and a MBA from American University in 1971.