A win-win on water

Tuesday's ceremony for a public works project that will carry water between New London and East Lyme represents a ground-breaking event, both literally and figuratively.

Not only will construction of new pipes, a pump station and holding tank benefit both communities, it represents an important step in what this newspaper has always advocated: a regional approach to municipal government.

In this era of declining state and federal support, it makes sense for towns, whenever possible, to share the cost - and benefits - of providing various services and using resources.

The agreement calls for East Lyme to send water to New London's Lake Konomoc Reservoir from fall to mid-May. New London will send the stored water back to East Lyme in the summer months when that town's population increases and wells occasionally dry up.

East Lyme will pay about $10 million to build a new pump station, holding tank and pipes, with completion scheduled in May 2014. Water users also will pay fees to New London.

In return East Lyme residents won't face periodic restrictions, as has been the case for years, and cash-strapped New Londoners will receive additional revenues. It's a win-win.

Other communities, including Ledyard and Montville, have entered similar cooperative water arrangements, and The Day encourages this concept to be applied more extensively to education, police and fire protection, and other services.

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