City leaders prepare for another dry year

Published 03/04 2013 10:08PM

Updated 03/05 2013 10:31AM

Update: 10:08 pm
DECATUR -- The city council approved a plan to partner with ADM to increase emergency water supplies. ADM plans to dig new wells.

The company will also pay for $2.5 million in water supply development. In exchange, ADM will be allowed to buy an extra 2-million gallons of city water every day.

Original: 5:41 pm
DECATUR -- Last summer, the city saw one of its worst droughts on record. City leaders are planning ahead in case the same thing happens this year. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels finds out how they're trying to get more water.

2012 was hot and dry. For months, Lake Decatur couldn't seem to keep enough water. City officials don't want a repeat performance, so this year, they want to team up with ADM. In a new agreement, to get ahead of Mother Nature, ADM would build two new wells to add to the mix.

"It would provide our community with up to 7 million gallons of additional water supply that we currently cannot access. It's groundwater  that we have no way to get to it, so that we can use it for our water supply purposes."

That's plenty to keep both the plant and the city running if the lake starts to run dry again. It won't cost taxpayers a thing.

The catch? ADM would be allowed to buy more city water each day. It's something the city says is a fair trade. The city council still has to approve the whole plan. They'll vote at Monday night's meeting.

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