IOWA PARTNERSHIP FOR CLEAN WATER RELEASES WHITE PAPER

December 22, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IOWA PARTNERSHIP FOR CLEAN WATER RELEASES WHITE PAPER

THREE KEY QUESTIONS DECISION MAKERS MUST ASK THAT IMPACT DES MOINES WATER WORKS RATEPAYERS

December 22, 2016 (Des Moines) – Today, Iowa Partnership for Clean Water (IPCW) released a white paper analyzing the factors driving the need for expansion of the Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) facility. The paper aims to explore the most appropriate, cost-effective infrastructure solutions moving forward.

Given the significant impact of DMWW’s $241 million capital improvement plan on ratepayers in central Iowa, IPCW commissioned former DMWW CEO L.D. McMullen to review the CH2M report that served as the basis for DMWW’s capital improvement plan. The white paper outlines the findings that resulted and concludes that increased demand due to population growth in the metropolitan area is the primary factor contributing to the need for expansion of DMWW facilities.

Currently, aging DMWW infrastructure serves the Des Moines metro area and about 20 surrounding communities and water districts. This service area has experienced rapid population growth in recent decades, much of which has been in suburban communities. These communities now account for more than half of overall water consumption from DMWW.

The white paper asserts that despite claims by DMWW, increased costs associated with water treatment have less to do with changing nitrate levels, and more to do with population growth and demand. Studies cited within the paper indicate that there have not been any statistically significant changes in nitrate levels for nearly 15 years.

“In order to ensure that appropriate investments are made to keep up with the growing metro area, we must take into account reasonable population projections and explore all water treatment methods,” said IPCW Board Member and Des Moines City Councilwoman, Christine Hensley. “Mr. McMullen pointed out some considerations and concerns, such as the proposed wetland, that should be vetted more fully before committing significant resources.”

The white paper proposes that the consideration of a regional water facility would be an appropriate avenue for moving forward. This is especially important given DMWW’s misplaced priorities, including a costly lawsuit based on inaccurate information about nitrate levels, and infrastructure costs that have not been fully vetted. A regional water facility would turn rights and decision-making power over to all impacted communities. It would also address governance, costs, financial equalization, and more.

“Thoroughly exploring a regional governance structure is crucial at this juncture,” said Hensley. “Much of the population growth we’ve experienced is happening in our suburban communities. This population growth is driving demand – and therefore treatment – of water. Bringing suburban communities to the table and ensuring they have a voice in decisions that impact ratepayers is greatly important.”

For more information about Iowa Partnership for Clean Water, and to view the full white paper, visit: www.iowapartnershipforcleanwater.org/white-paper.

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About Iowa Partnership for Clean Water
Iowa Partnership for Clean Water (IPCW) is a 501c4 organization dedicated to broadening the understanding of agriculture, as it pertains to clean water and conservation initiatives within our state. IPCW brings together active voices within Iowa to promote the environmentally responsible practices that Iowa farmers employ to ensure the health and safety of all Iowa citizens.

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