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Some small Louisiana water systems report revenue up because of drought

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Written by
Jeff Matthews
jmatthews@thetowntalk.com

From: TownTalk.com

 

Despite drought-like conditions in the Deep South, small community water systems in Louisiana have not felt the pinch, the executive director of the Louisiana Rural Water

Association said Tuesday.

“A lot of the people I’ve talked to say their water revenue is up 10 to 15 percent because of the weather,” said Pat Credeur. “When you do that, sometimes you have water supply problems, as well. The water situation here is plentiful. No utility has called us and told us they’re out of water.”

The situation could be different if drought condition persist long-term, Credeur said, such as some areas in Texas and Oklahoma have experienced.

“Louisiana is fortunate in that we have a lot of water,” he said. “The aquifers are reasonable. If we had drought for five years, then you would see the aquifers start going down. They go down some now, but they build back up.”

LRWA is in Alexandria this week for its annual training and technical conference.

Between 1,100 to 1,200 people will be at this year’s conference at the Alexandria Riverfront Center and the Alexander Fulton Hotel, Credeur said. Water and wastewater operators from rural systems across the state will receive training and certification and have a chance to see new products and technology.

One of the major topics of conversation at this year’s convention is funding, which has taken a hit with government cutbacks due to the weak economy.

“Times are tough in our business, as well,” said Steve Wear, a member of the executive board of the National Rural Water Association and one of the speakers at Tuesday’s welcome

ceremony.

“It always boils down to funding,” Credeur said. “A lot of utilities are having issues with infrastructure needs.”

A LRWA study found that water systems in Louisiana needed at least $600 million in water system infrastructure improvements, not including wastewater improvements.

That results in a lot of wasted water, Credeur said. He said the national average for water loss while passing through a system is 10 to 12 percent, while the Louisiana average is 27 to

32 percent.

“I feel eventually some of these utilities are going to have to raise their water and wastewater rates,” Credeur said. “As long as they’re providing safe, potable drinking water and treating sewer water that goes back into the environment, I don’t think anyone will have a problem with a small rate

increase.”

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Written by demon53

July 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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