FOCUS: A Regional Water Utility
… a “Central Iowa Water Works?
Wednesday 2/9, at 4:30 PM
“In 2017, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) began a multi-year process with partners from across the region, examining ways to increase cooperation, share decision-making, balance risk, and equitably distribute benefits across the region. A range of alternatives, from merging all retail and water production assets under a single entity to sharing costs and decision-making while maintaining separately governed entities, were considered. FCS Group, a national utility consulting firm, was retained by DMWW, Urbandale Water Utility and West Des Moines Water Works (WDMWW) to facilitate a process– which included data gathering, analysis, and stakeholder workshops—that could serve as a basis for establishing a model for a regional water authority.”
The FCS Group financial analysis was completed in October 2018. In September 2019, the DMWW Board issued an alternative framework to the initial FCS model, and subsequent regional discussions have continued since.
On February 2 West Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees voted unanimously to proceed with negotiations that could lead to the creation of a regional water utility. The vote followed similar resolutions passed unanimously by the Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees on December 21 and the Urbandale Water Utility on January 12.
The next step will be to negotiate a 28E agreement for what would be known as the “Central Iowa Water Works”. If enough communities in the region agree to participate, the new utility could become operational by early 2023.
- Dale Acheson: General Manager, Urbandale Water Utility
- Christina Murphy: General Manager, West Des Moines Water Works
- Ted Corrigan: CEO & General Manager, Des Moines Water Works