IA Utilities Board Approves Water Rate Increase; Drought to Continue
Despite a bit of rain, Iowa's drought worsened in the past month, according to the director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Midwest Climate Hub.
Dennis Todey says prospects for the rest of the summer are hard to forecast. At best, Iowa would get enough rain to hold off an even worse drought, he predicted. Todey says the drought is the worst in 20 years, and the long-term forecasts don't call for much rain in the Midwest in the next week.
The Iowa Utilities Board today announced it had issued an order approving a rate adjustment for Iowa-American Water. The order came on June 28 after a ten-month review. The company's investment of almost $87 million in water system improvements is the primary driver behind the rate adjustment request. Residential customers could see a 14 percent increase, and commercial customers could pay more than 16 percent more, according to Iowa-American Water.
Company officials say the additional revenue will help Iowa American Water continue to invest proactively in its water infrastructure throughout the state. Iowa American Water last received a rate change order from the IUB four years ago in 2017.
The EPA's 2015 Drinking Water Needs Assessment reported to Congress that Iowa drinking water systems have an estimated capital need of more than $7.8 billion over the next 20 years. The majority needed for the small and medium-sized systems that dominate the state.
The Biden administration plans to issue a new rule to protect farmers' rights who raise cows, chickens, and hogs against the country's largest meat processors. The rule is part of a plan to encourage more competition in the agriculture sector.