State Level Policies to Promote Water Utility Consolidation

The majority of the 50,000 water systems in the U.S. are small systems that serve less than 3,000 people (81.3% systems serve less than 3,300 people). Small water systems that are in low-income communities or areas that are losing population may find it difficult to meet the multiple challenges of aging infrastructure, new contaminants, and keeping water affordable. Consolidation and regionalization can help small utilities meet these increasing pressures.

Gubernatorial leadership in Kentucky helped reduce the number of water utilities in the state from 2,178 in 1974 to 398 that operate today. Our speaker will examine the drivers, funding, and leadership needed to consolidate utility systems into larger public systems. We will also learn about water utility consolidation undertaken by private water companies and state laws that hinder or support this scenario.


  • Gary Larimore, Executive Director, Kentucky Rural Water Association
  • Deborah D. Dewey, President, Indiana American Water

Meeting Materials