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Des Moines area cities support regional water utility

The cities of Waukee, West Des Moines, Des Moines and Urbandale have all announced their support for a regional water utility. 

The idea of a regional water utility was first discussed four years ago when three Water Works companies got together to determine if producing and treating water as a regional entity had advantages or disadvantages.

Rudy Koester, a public works director at the City of Waukee, talked about how this will help to ensure safe and reliable drinking water today and in the future. 

“Waukee is currently a wholesale customer of Des Moines Water Works and continuing to be a part of a regional effort to produce and distribute safe and reliable drinking water to our community is the least costly path for our customers,” Koester said. “I want to be clear, a regional water utility will not necessarily lower water costs today for everyone, however, it will allow for improved cost management resulting in less costs in the future.” 

This collaborative project allows customers to get more bang for their buck, with cities all over the Des Moines metro working together on this project. 

Christina Murphy, the general manager at the West Des Moines Water Works, agreed with Koester’s statements, saying it would better help the general public, including Drake University students. 

“Regionalization allows for the best management of available water resources. It does so in a way that can help support growth in many of the metro communities,” Murphy said. “It helps keep water rates lower than not cooperating together and ensures that everyone is sharing in the risk and reward of owning and operating a regional water production utility. By having multiple water treatment plants and redundant system infrastructure, as a metro, we can face and respond to these challenges and continue to meet our customer’s needs.  Specifically for college students at Drake, they can feel confident that the regional water utility will be focused on being sustainable, while fiscally prudent, in ensuring safe, reliable drinking water.”

Regionalization and working together to support economic development and growth needs can help to provide work for Drake University students and graduates, allowing for them to continue to stay in the metro as they start their professional careers. 

Only regional water production will be affected by the regionalization, not distribution. People will still be able to call their local city or water works for assistance with billing or drinking water related issues. 

For more information and updates on this regional water utility visit www.dmww.com/alert_detail.php.  


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