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Phoenix-Based Water Utility Begins Consolidation Strategy

Phoenix-based Global Water Resources has a plan to consolidate small water utilities across the state. The water utility closed on its first purchase this week.

CEO Ron Fleming said Global Water purchased Eagletail Water, just west of metro Phoenix, because it’s located near another utility Global owns. Fleming also said the purchase is part of a broader strategy to consolidate some of the smaller to medium-sized private utilities.

“Ultimately that is the issue in the water industry — that it is highly fragmented,” Fleming said.

He said Arizona has 270 private water systems. Nationwide, 80,000 private water systems operate.

“The reason that that is, is kind of a physical reason,  is that water is heavy. And to pump it and treat it and send it to your customers is very costly,” he said.

Global owns and operates 10 utility companies in and around metro Phoenix, recycling nearly 1 billion gallons of water annually.

This acquisition is Global’s first since going public in 2003. Fleming said the company plans more.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.