Archive for the ‘Maffitt Reservoir’ Category

September 20, 2011

The Importance of Dams & Reservoirs

Water is the vital resource to support all forms of life.  Unfortunately, water is not evenly distributed by location or by the season of the year. Some areas of the country are more arid and water is a scarce and precious commodity.  Other areas of the country receive more than adequate amounts of rain causing occasional floods and loss of life and property.  Throughout history, dams and reservoirs have been constructed to collect, store and manage the supply of water to sustain civilization.

The primary benefit of dams and reservoirs is water supply.  Reservoirs also provide benefits such as flood control, recreation, scenic beauty, fish and wildlife habitat and, at some dams, hydro-electric power.  Currently there are about 45,000 dams higher than 50 feet throughout the world.  While some are more than 2,000 years old, over 70% have been built in the last 50 years.

The Maffitt Dam was constructed by Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) as an emergency water supply.  Construction started in August 1943 and the dam was completed in March 1945.  Water was pumped from the Raccoon River to fill the reservoir.  Maffitt Reservoir stores 1.57 billion gallons of water.  The original plan was to store water in the reservoir that could be released during periods of low flow in the Raccoon River.  The current plan is to use water from the reservoir as an emergency raw water source for the L.D. McMullen Water Treatment Plant.

In May of 1982, DMWW entered into a contract with the State of Iowa to purchase storage capacity in the Saylorville Reservoir.  DMWW paid a portion of the Saylorville Reservoir construction costs and makes annual payments for a portion of the operational costs.  These payments give DMMW access to 3.2 billion gallons of Saylorville Reservoir water that can be utilized in a drought situation.

Between the Maffitt and Saylorville Reservoirs, DMWW has access to 4.77 billion gallons of water to meet the water needs of our customers in the event of an emergency or drought situation.

Posted by: Gary Benjamin No Comments
Labels: , , , , , , , , , Posted in Infrastructure, Maffitt Reservoir, Value of Water October 10, 2010

Des Moines Water Works Using Social Media

You may wonder why a water utility would need more online presence than a website.  Des Moines Water Works’ (DMWW) social media endeavor is in alignment with our 2010-2014 Strategic Plan. We realize the way the world communicates has changed, and we want to be where our customers are. If that means participating in blogging, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, we’re ready to be there.

Our management team is very much on board with this new initiative, and on this blog you’ll be hearing from many employees from every corner of our organization. From the treatment plants to the Botanical Center, to Water Works Park, we’re bringing the best insights from our people directly to you. We hope you enjoy this blog, and comment frequently. We’re listening.

What do we hope to accomplish?

  • Increase public awareness of the value of water
  • Promote stewardship of our natural resources
  • Post current DMWW news
  • Promote events at the Botanical Center and in the parks
  • Educate water consumers
  • Inform the public of our involvement and initiatives with various associations
  • Share pertinent information about the Utility (Did you know DMWW was recognized by Forbes in 2008 for having the highest quality drinking water in the USA?)
  • Attract qualified applicants, and
  • Interact with the community, residential and business customers, industry and government partners

We’re on Facebook as Des Moines Water Works, and Twitter at DSMH2O. Please join the conversation!

We welcome your feedback.  Are there topics of particular interest to you?  Let us know how we can improve service to you, our customers.

Posted by: Randy Beavers 3 Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in About Us, Customers, Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Water Works Park, Education, History, Maffitt Reservoir, Public Policy, Value of Water