West Des Moines Water Works discusses future options for water supply

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – West Des Moines Water Works’ board of trustees is considering a few options when it comes to the city’s future water supply and residents are weighing in.

“You need to be respectful of the people and you need to hear them before you make a decision,” West Des Moines resident Brian Rickert said.

West Des Moines Water Works General Manager Christina Murphy said this is just the start for public input, but also knows it’s a decision that needs to be made sooner rather than later.

“We’re gonna need water in about 10 years,” Murphy said. “It takes five to eight years to get all these pieces stood up, and so we need to start planning for that.”

Currently West Des Moines gets 30% of its water from Des Moines Water Works, a demand that’s expected to grow.

The board of trustees is looking at three options:

  1. Regionalization of the metro where communities will make decisions together on how water is treated currently and what water is needed in the future.
  2. West Des Moines builds its own plant with Waukee and Van Meter, which would cost around $100 million according to Murphy.
  3. Regionalization of just the western suburbs.

If the board takes steps to move forward with the full regionalization of the metro, Murphy said residents won’t see a lot of change up front but more so down the line.

“For our customers, we’re hoping by choosing regionalization we’re going to have a 30% savings over 40 years over building our own plant,” Murphy explained.

While some residents still have questions about future impacts, there is a chance for them to get some answers. A public information meeting is happening on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at West Des Moines City Hall.

On Dec. 15 the board of trustees will vote on the resolution to move forward with negotiating the regionalization, the first of many votes to come.

The public can provide input by emailing the board at comments@wdmww.com.

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