Missouri American Water, Joplin, announced on Friday that the final site recommendation for the proposed water reservoir has been made. Of the three potential sites, Site C, north of Neosho and near Diamond, is the final recommendation. Originally, several options were considered including 12 possible reservoir locations. Additional wells were ruled out due to the declining water levels in the aquifer.
The site was chosen after extensive research and data analysis.
Missouri American Water will apply for a permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers within the next 30 to 60 days. The permit process may take up to two years. As part of the process, the Army Corps of Engineers will hold pubic meetings. The dates and times will be determined at a later date.
Property owners within the area were notified by letter in late January. Impacted property owners will additionally be contacted within the next 6-8 weeks in reference to the possible sale of their property.
"We are very aware that this will be a difficult time for the impacted property owners," Matt Barnhart, Missouri American Water's senior operation manager, said. "We will treat them with the utmost respect and we will do all we can to lessen the stress and inconvenience this is sure to create."
As previously stated, property owners will receive just compensation based on the fair market value of their properties.
The reservoir is necessary to address the critical and growing water shortage for the Joplin region.
Since 2012, Missouri American Water's Joplin operation has come without hours of enacting mandatory water conservation measures on three occasions due to low flows in Shoal Creek. In addition, the aquifer used to supplement water supplies during the summer months has limited capacity.
Missouri American Water is a subsidiary of American Water, the largest investor owner water utility in the state. They provide high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.5 million people.
The Neosho Daily News will be following the reservoir progress as it is made.