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Concord Officials Set To Ink Water Deal With Albemarle

http://66.225.205.104/JR20100812.mp3

Water is an increasingly scarce commodity for the city of Concord, where rapid growth has forced local officials to look for new sources to keep the faucets flowing. WFAE's Julie Rose reports the Concord City Council will sign off tonight on a 30-year contract to buy water from Albemarle. It's actually a three-way deal between Albemarle and the cities of Concord and Kannapolis that will require building 19 miles of pipeline, mostly along Highway 49. The whole project will cost around $21 million. Concord and Kannapolis will be on the hook for 75 percent of that. And then, the cities will have to pay Albemarle for the water that comes through the pipe. But by most counts, Concord and Kannapolis have little choice. They are located between two major river basins with a limited number of small reservoirs to draw from. Concord water resources director Christie Putnam says nearly 80 percent of the city's water supply is already spoken for by existing homes and businesses. "We are positioning ourselves to meet our needs for the future growth," says Putnam. "We don't need it today that's true. But it'll take us years before we even get that water available to us." Putnam estimates the pipeline will take about three years to design and construct. Concord and Kannapolis are committed to purchasing at least 2 million gallons of treated water per day from Albemarle, which draws directly from the Yadkin River. Ultimately, Concord and Kannapolis expect their growth to require transferring water from the Catawba River basin, as well.