The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a compilation of case studies in a publication titled Gaining Operational and Managerial Efficiencies Through Water System Partnerships to highlight various approaches that small drinking water systems have taken to improve their technical and financial capacity by partnering with other water systems. Many small public water systems are challenged with limited resources, lack of trained operators, and complex regulations.
As part of EPA’s effort to promote sustainability of water systems, this report presents examples of different partnership options, ranging from informal arrangements, such as sharing equipment, to transferring ownership of a system through consolidation. The potential benefits of partnerships are numerous and significant, including increased economies of scale, increased capital needed to replace and improve aging water delivery infrastructure, and enhanced environmental protection, resource conservation, and contingency planning for conditions of water scarcity. States can also realize the important benefits of such activities because water system partnerships can be an effective means of helping small water systems achieve and maintain technical, managerial, and financial (TMF) capacity, reducing the oversight and resources that the state will need to devote to these systems.
The document can be found on EPA’s website (it is a PDF). You can also contact the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) at 800/490-9198 or firstname.lastname@example.org to order hard copies of the document.
From Water Headlines, a weekly online publication that announces publications, policies, and activities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water