Critics warn lawmakers against dismantling water authorities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Critics warn lawmakers against dismantling water authorities

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(AP) -

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An overflow crowd jammed a legislative hearing to oppose a bill they argued would make it more difficult to ensure safe water.

At Monday's public hearing on a bill that would dismantle water utilities in Des Moines, West Des Moines and Urbandale, opponents criticized the proposed move from oversight by independent boards to city councils in the three cities.

The move is largely supported by cities given the assets of the water utilities, but critics contend moving control away from independent water experts will lead to dirtier water.

Some say the legislation is political retaliation for Des Moines Water Works filing a lawsuit against three northwest Iowa counties in an effort to lessen farm runoff.

The legislation is now headed to the House chamber for debate.

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