NEWS RELEASE: Des Moines Water Works Offers Framework for Regional Governance of Central Iowa Drinking Water Production
After more than two years coordinating, leading, and participating in regional discussions on how to continue meeting the water need in Central Iowa for years to come, Des Moines Water Works has developed a framework for leading the regional drinking water production discussion forward.
The framework explores the concept of a new regional entity, Central Iowa Water Works, which would be governed by a regional board comprised of Des Moines and suburban representatives. This board would not replace existing water boards, but would be responsible for specific regional functions, including water supply planning and wholesale rate setting. Existing boards and water systems would continue to oversee water distribution and customer service functions.
“We have been able to creatively address some of the early stumbling blocks to regional cooperation and participation and develop, what might be, a win for both Des Moines residents and wholesale water customers.” said Ted Corrigan, Interim CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works.
The framework released today leverages existing infrastructure and known source water supplies to meet Central Iowa’s water needs at the lowest overall cost. All metro area water systems would be eligible to participate. Water systems that currently produce water would continue to operate and maintain their water supply infrastructure under contract and would receive rate credits to compensate for their ownership. Additionally, a process and valuation methodology for a potential transfer of water supply assets to the Regional entity is contemplated. Under a regional model, local water distribution systems and customer service would remain under local control.
“The regionalization of water production in Central Iowa has been a topic of discussion for a number of years. Des Moines Water Works has willingly participated in those discussions because the wise management of a limited natural resource in the twenty-first-century requires increased cooperation, shared decision-making, the balancing of risk, and the equitable distribution of benefits,” said Diane Munns, Chair of the Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees. “We are eager to begin discussions with our stakeholders with this framework for the benefit of all regional water customers.”