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Metro Water Regionalization UPDATE


September 18, 2023


Utilities Share Third and Final Draft of 28E Agreement That Establishes Central Iowa Water Works, a Regional Drinking Water System


Representatives of Iowa’s three board-governed utilities have distributed a final draft of the working agreement to establish Central Iowa Water Works (CIWW), a regional drinking water system.


West Des Water Works (WDMWW) along with Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) and the Urbandale Water Utility (UWU) have shared the third draft of the 28E/F agreement to the 13 potential founding members, which includes community water departments, independent water works and rural water utilities.


“In establishing CIWW, metro water utilities will move forward collaboratively to face the water quality and quantity challenges that we must manage as our region continues to grow,” said Ted Corrigan, CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works. “The formation of CIWW allows for effective planning and management of our water resources which will help ensure our shared water system provides safe, sufficient and affordable water today and into the future.”


Communities in central Iowa have a long history of working together on the management of water resources. In fact, a cooperative approach to providing water supply to the metro traces its roots back nine decades. DMWW has proactively worked with its suburban partners since its first regional agreement with Urbandale in 1934 when the community contracted with DMWW to supply its water.


After the 1993 flood, suburban partners contributed $100 million to build additional water treatment plants and facilities that are operated by DMWW. Today, these suburban partners use more than 50 percent of the water produced by the regional system.


Discussions about developing a regional drinking water authority have been ongoing in the metro for more than a decade, becoming more serious and productive among the three board-governed water utilities in in the metro needs to grow and thrive,” added Christina Murphy, general manager of WDMWW. “As we look to the future, we are facing many of the same challenges, and we have a fiduciary obligation to our customers to ensure ample water today and tomorrow. Collaborating on CIWW gives us more tools and opportunities for the future.”


CIWW would not replace or eliminate the water boards or water departments within each community, according to the proposed agreement. Each community would supply water it purchases from CIWW to its individual customers, set its own water rates, operate and maintain its local distribution system (mains and water towers), and provide all of its own customer service.


The governing agency of Central Iowa Water Works will work together to manage the growth of the water system. Each founding member will have a seat on the CIWW governing board.


“We are all getting our water from the same rivers and aquifers, and we are all trying to grow and add to the quality of life of our communities,” said Dale Acheson, general manager of the UWU. “The more we can work together to avoid costly duplication in water source development and treatment plant expansions, the better we can focus on growth and resiliency for individual communities as well as the entire region.”     


The potential founding members that have expressed interest in considering the formation of a regional drinking water system are Ankeny, Bondurant, Clive, DMWW, Grimes, Johnston, Polk City, Urbandale, Warren Water District, WDMWW, Waukee and Xenia Rural Water District.


These potential partners will review the final agreement and begin taking steps to confirm their respective support and participation in the founding CIWW over the next month with the goal being to approve the 28E/F by the end of 2023 or early 2024.

West Des Moines Water Works is hosting several opportunities for public comment on the agreement and the formation of CIWW. The first is on Thursday, Sept. 28, from
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the main level of the Valley Junction Activity Center, 217 Fifth St., in West Des Moines.


The other opportunities for public comment and questions are:


 Monday, Oct. 16, at 4 p.m., board of trustees meeting, A.C. Ward Municipal Water Treatment Plant boardroom, 1505 Railroad Ave., West Des Moines

Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 4 p.m., budget workshop, public comment section, at 1505 Railroad Ave.

Thursday, Nov. 2, at 12 Noon, Online session: Click here to review the presentation that was shared during this meeting.

Thursday, Nov. 9, at 12 Noon, Online session: Please join via your computer, tablet or smartphone.  

You can also dial in using your phone.
(For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.)
United States: +1 (646) 749-3122
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Access Code: 513-212-645

Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m., board of trustees meeting, at 1505 Railroad Ave.

Monday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. Special meeting – Budget Hearing public input during public forum at 1505 Railroad Ave.

 Wednesday, Dec. 20, at 4 p.m. Trustees Board Meeting public hearing, vote on the CIWW 28E/F at 1505 Railroad Ave.





Second Draft of 28E/F Agreement Released


WDMWW Board of Trustees Vote to Move Forward
and Negotiate Agreements for Metro Regionalization


Resolution Approving Further Exploration 


Frequently Asked Questions 


Central Iowa Water Works Outcomes Report


Future Water Supply Needs for West Des Moines Presentation