Water discussions with De Soto encouraging
Last week, the city administrators and staffs of Eudora an De Soto sat down to talk about possible cooperation regarding future water needs. It is to be hoped those talks continue.
Eudora is looking to supplement its current water supply in the face of growth, while De Soto has a more pressing need of completely upgrading its current plant at the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant, build new or find a secure wholesale connection. Although the needs are different, they could converge.
De Soto has recently learned none of those options are cheap. It is estimated that city will have to make an initial investment of at least $8.4 million if it is to continue producing its own water.
Although Eudora may not face that kind of expenditure to resolve its needs, City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said the city must look beyond a "go-it-alone" approach.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for controlling water destiny. Douglas County rural water districts have long chaffed under the conditions Lawrence places on water use they view as an attempt to control development. Those determined to check urban sprawl and direct more resources to urban cores might find positions on the boards of large water utilities, like Johnson County Water One, a good platform.
Regional cooperation is the middle ground between a go-it-alone approach and water purchasing agreements.
Although last week's talks were just preliminary and little more could be expected of it than introductions of two relatively new city administrators and general overview of each cities current status and future needs, it is hoped Eudora officials will be kept informed on De Soto's ongoing water considerations and that an open invitation is extended for more indepth discussions.