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Building the Capacity of Drinking Water Systems


State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Division of Environmental Health

Division of Water

State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships


DWSRF funding is awarded to projects based on priority points. In Alaska’s DWSRF program projects that include consolidation or regionalization are awarded 5 points. Projects that will enhance the sustainability of the system may also earn extra points. For example, projects can earn 50 points for “Fix It First” projects and 25 points for projects that will apply Effective Utility Management or planning.


Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation can approve one contract operator to supervise more than one system according to the Operator Certification and Training Regulations (18 AAC 74). The department will take into account the system size, complexity, accessibility, emergency planning, and other factors when approving the plan for such a scenario.


The Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) can order public systems with conduits, pipes, pipelines, mains, or other distribution or transmission facilities to allow other public systems to use these facilities when public convenience and necessity require it. Use must not result in substantial injury to the owner or in substantial detriment to the provided service. The user must pay for any necessary modifications or additions and may be required to pay reasonable compensation for use of the facilities [AS 42.05.311 (a)].


Applications for new PWSs that are located within one mile of an existing water system must include “an explanation why connection to the existing service is not in the customer’s interest” [3 ACC 52.715(b)(4)].

Because of the remote nature of many areas in Alaska, physical intercon­nections are not always feasible. In fact, in many remote areas the state is focused on decentralized water and wastewater options in order to address the pressing need for affordable and reliable access to safe drinking water. For information visit:

However, other types of partnerships, such as operator sharing and coordination among water systems, are a way some systems are able to use partnerships to help manage and plan their water resources.

Helpful Links to State Resources