Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Karegnondi Water Authority and DWSD: Talks Begin

The Flint Journal reported on June 20, 2011 (here) that representatives from DWSD and the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) met several weeks ago. The talks reportedly focused on the potential for the KWA to purchase raw water and at least part of an existing, Detroit-owned pipeline or intake that carries water to Flint and Genesee County now. 

Comment: I don't know for certain, but it appears that the June 2, 2011 meeting reported by the Flint Journal the first time in almost 2 years that the parties have met face-to-face. We reported (here) on a meeting in March, 2009.  But it was shortly after that meeting, in May, 2009, that Genesee County applied for a water withdrawal permit. And then came the announcement of the formation of the Karegnondi Water Authority in June, 2009 (here).  Since then, preliminary engineering plans have been prepared for a new $600 million pipeline, and KWA solicited engineering proposals in January (here).

But I think that Mayor Bing's February 11, 2011 Agreement to give Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties greater participation in the oversight of DWSD, and appointment of the "New Water Board," may have kept the door open to discussions with Flint and Genesee County.  The key will be whether the parties can continue their dialogue and achieve sustained progress. Despite all of their planning, KWA must still confront the biggest hurdle of all - raising the money to construct a $600 million pipeline. For its part,  DWSD must continue its efforts to provide suburban customers with a meaningful voice in future rate increases and capital expenditures. 

For more about DWSD Update, click here. 

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