Johnston County and Raleigh have agreed to work together to plan for their water needs. That’s good for the future and everyone’s pocketbook.
By working together, the two entities have the ability to promote the health of the Neuse River, a primary water source for much of Johnston County. They also can share costs associated with water production in the future. That’s a key component of the agreement the two groups signed last month. Sharing costs when the benefits derived are equally valued is a smart move and indicative of good money management. For Johnston County, it’s also important because Raleigh is upstream from the county and the water Johnston County gets from the Neuse has already traveled through the more populous region in Wake County.
Creating a partnership between the two governments means Raleigh will have an obligation not only to consider its own needs, but those of its partners as well.
As the two groups begin to implement the agreement, we hope it will mean that both sides have found ways to work together and ways to resolve differences of opinion when they rise.
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Unlike many other resources, both Raleigh and Wake County are stuck with what nature provides them. Water can’t be trucked in. It can’t be purchased from an overseas supplier. What flows through the region is all there is.
Managing the resource – especially as both communities grow – will be more and more important as time goes on.
We recognize the value of working together in other ways, too. Water production is an expensive proposition. Customers must have clean water and in rapidly urbanizing areas like the Triangle, that become an even more challenging task. Cost-sharing will allow both partners to spread those costs out among more water customers, ostensibly helping offset future cost increases. That’s good not only for government, but for the people who pay for those governments.