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Regional Cooperation for Water Quality Improvement in Southwestern Pennsylvania
potentially can achieve tremendous advantages through cooperative actions in planning and implementing water quality improvements. Such advantages would include economies of scale, access to increasingly needed technology, and improved reliability and security. Nonetheless, there may be some resistance to regionalization in southwestern Pennsylvania and elsewhere, because some communities and utilities in the United States have a strong attachment to self-sufficiency and maintaining the status quo. This may be due to desires to control rate structures and use revenues for other municipal functions or to fears of job loss or of dealing with an unresponsive separate party with newly assigned responsibilities. It will be an important challenge in southwestern Pennsylvania and elsewhere to find ways to coordinate, consolidate, cooperate, and regionalize appropriate individual functions in a manner that preserves local identity while gaining the improved performance to achieve multiple water resource management objectives. As discussed in Chapter 6, the recommended creation of a regional water forum constitutes an opportunity to facilitate this development in southwestern Pennsylvania.