A number of factors drive the need for additional regional water supply including rapid population growth, cyclical drought, increased population densities in cities, economic competitiveness and aquifer sustainability.
Finding solutions to securing additional regional water supply is a big goal; one that will require long-term planning and the collaboration of many stakeholders. Other parts of the country are taking a regional water supply approach and building additional regional infrastructure to meet the water supply needs of their member communities. In southwest Missouri, the northeast corner of Oklahoma and the southeast corner of Kansas, Tri-State Water Resource Coalition is leading a pro-active effort to securing adequate, quality water supplies for the future prosperity of our region.
Defining and Securing Additional Sources of Water
Tri-State Water has engaged in a series of research studies to better understand the water resources of our region and to define potential additional sources of water supply.
Building upon this strong foundation of research, Tri-State Water has defined three existing impoundments – Grand Lake, Table Rock Lake and Stockton Lake, as possible future sources of supply. Additionally, Tri-State Water has defined several possible sites for new impoundments as possible future sources of supply.
Tri-State Water continues to explore available options for gaining access to water in Table Rock, Stockton and Grand Lakes. We will continue to work with the Corps of Engineers, state agencies, regional legislators and leaders, and with our congressional delegation, to navigate the complex series of steps required to receive water from existing impoundments.
Though Tri-State Water has defined several possible sites for new reservoirs to serve the region, no additional plans have yet been made by the Board of Directors regarding new impoundments.
Strengthening the Coalition
- Tri-State Water hired its first paid staff, an executive director, in June, 2010.
- Tri-State Water has developed a strategic plan to organize its efforts.
- Tri-State Water has developed a comprehensive communications plan to educate all stakeholders (federal, state, regional, local) about water supply issues, and to facilitate the sharing of information about water issues.
- Tri-State Water continues to grow its membership. The more representation we have from regional stakeholders, the stronger our voice becomes at all levels. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Coalition, click here.
Educating Our Region about Water Supply Challenges and Solutions
Tri-State Water sees education about water supply issues as core to its mission. To that end it has sponsored several educational efforts.
- Missouri State University and Tri-State Water have co-sponsored an annual fall conference about water supply issues since 2007.
- Tri-State Water is available to speak to groups interested in learning more about issues related to water supply.
- Tri-State Water is developing a water education series for school-aged children.
- Tri-State Water has defined conservation and drought plans.
Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Little Rock District Corps of Engineers are partnering with Tri-State Water on a new study, still being planned, to analyze future population and water demand within the Tri-State Water footprint.
Preparing for Future Projects
Tri-State Water was founded in 2003 as a non-profit 501c4 corporation whose mission involves education and advocacy. Plans are under way to develop a Joint Municipal Utility Commission (JMUC), which will be a separate organization through which projects can be built.
Fulfilling our Mission
Tri-State Water Resource Coalition’s mission is to secure adequate, quality regional water supplies to help support a prosperous future for our communities and for the next generation. The challenges are significant, the solutions are limited, complicated and expensive, but with persistence, hard work, and the support of our regional communities, along with support from elected officials at all levels, we can develop the kind of long-term water supply and infrastructure that will sustain the prosperity and quality of our region for many years to come.