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Community Water System Wins Award for Water Source Efforts

Community Water System and fellow members of the Mid-Arkansas Water Alliance (MAWA) are the 2006 recipients of the Organization of the Year award from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock¹s (UALR) College of Professional Studies. The award recognizes MAWA¹s efforts to secure long-term water sources for 750,000 residents in Mid-Arkansas while utilizing the highest standards of environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility. The award presentation to MAWA Board members was April 24, 2006, at the UALR main campus in Little Rock.

As a member of MAWA, Community Water System is a core participant in the Eight-county regional partnership. Together, the 27 member municipalities, water utilities and water-user groups serve three-fourths of a million people in Pulaski, Saline, Faulkner, Lonoke, Garland, Cleburne, Conway and Perry counties.

Working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, (ARNC) and the state¹s U.S. congressional delegation, MAWA is getting closer to its quest to receive supplemental water from Greers Ferry Lake and Lake Ouachita. The request for 35 million gallons per day in discretionary storage would have no significant impact on existing purposes of the lakes.

"The need for a safe and dependable source of drinking water, in terms of both quality and quantity, has been very apparent during the drought of the past year," Shaw said. "Several communities in Central Arkansas went into conservation and rationing modes when water sources became very depleted."

University officials described the MAWA partnership as reflecting an unprecedented degree of inter-local cooperation in our state.

"By pooling resources, this partnership will realize an economy-of-scale that is not achievable individually," UALR dean Angela Brenton noted in presenting the award to the MAWA Board of Directors.

MAWA, in cooperation with the Corps and ANRC, is in the scheduling phase of public hearing workshops in the Hot Springs and Heber Springs¹ area. At the workshops, the Corps and MAWA will present the alliance¹s proposal for drawing water from the two lakes and will accept public comments.

The Corps of Engineers manages both federal reservoirs and the allocations require approval by the agency.

For more information you may call Community Water System¹s operations center at 1-800-234-2971.