Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 12
When Rural Water
Consolidation may offer benefits for the
nation's Rural Water industry, but it has also
triggered debate on its rationale, approaches
and community impact
COMPILED FROM COBANK AND NRWA ARTICLES AND OPINIONS
Is consolidation in your water
system's future? Who should determine
whether it's the right or wrong move for
your utility-or even for your community?
And how should a potential consolidation
These questions are at the heart of a
growing discussion across the nation's Rural
Water industry. As water utilities wrestle
with increasing regulatory compliance
and costly infrastructure needs, many are
considering whether consolidation, also
FIRST QUARTER 2018
referred to as regionalization or partnering,
could help them meet their challenges.
Proponents say consolidation can help
Rural Water systems leverage economy
of scale and available expertise to make
better use of resources and opportunities.
But not everyone agrees on the
rationale or approach to consolidation.
Many worry that consolidation will
strip local control from a community or
customer base. Others refute the idea
that small water systems can't take care
of their own business or run quality
operations on their own. Others caution
about proceeding without careful thought
of unintended consequences.
Differing points of view have increased
controversy about consolidation and led to
tension among industry leaders.
Consolidation, of course, is not a
new trend. It's been occurring among