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Page added on November 29, 2008

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Efforts being made to avoid water shortage

What, a water shortage in southwest Missouri? Several years ago, most people believed that if water supplies were running short, punching another hole in the ground would solve the problem.

That belief was scuttled in 2002. The Missouri American Water Company, water supplier for the city of Joplin and other surrounding communities, retained Whitman Hydro Planning Associates to investigate whether current groundwater supplies would meet the future needs of the area. The study found that groundwater was being withdrawn more rapidly than it was being replenished and concluded that the Joplin area could suffer a water shortage in 10 to 15 years during a drought period.

A public meeting was held to present the Whitman findings, drawing water suppliers from southwest Missouri, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas. The meeting served as a wake up call. These cities, though outside the study area, realized that they faced a similar situation.

As a result of this wide spread concern, the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition was formed. It is a not-for-profit, 501 c (3) corporation serving the area from Pittsburg, Kan., and Miami, Okla., on the west to Springfield, on the east, Lamar on the north and the Arkansas state line on the south. The membership includes cities, water districts, businesses and individuals. City Utilities of Springfield is a member.


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