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State Rejects Pattinson’s Request to Sell Water

The state of Iowa intends to reject a company's request to sell 2 billion gal. of water from the state's Jordan aquifer to drought-stricken communities in the West, saying it would have "a negative impact on the long-term availability of Iowa's water resources."

According to the Des Moines Register, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources told Pattison Sand Co. that the state determined "that removing such a large volume of water permanently from the basin does not meet the statutory and regulatory permitting requirements."

Specifically, this proposal does not meet the legal standard that Iowa's public water be put to beneficial use in the interest of the people, the agency said.

The company, which mines silica sand outside Clayton, Iowa, wanted to tap 2 billion gal. of water annually from two existing wells to "supply community water to areas out West that are experiencing water shortages." It added that one of the communities faces economic collapse due to a 19-year drought.

Pattison didn't indicate which communities it planned to sell the water to. The Iowa DNR said it had no information about where the water would go, either. Even with the rejection, some lawmakers say they want a review of the state's laws to weigh whether to tighten access to the aquifer, which provides water to about a half-million Iowans.