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In North Carolina, there are 305 active local government community water systems serving up to 3,300
people, and 60 active local government water systems serving 20,000 people or more. The large systems
outperform the small systems on financial performance, and generally have more staff that are devoted
to managing the water systems, whereas small local government staff work across multiple
departments. Small local government water systems may benefit from the expertise, experience, and
specialization of the managers and staff at nearby large local government water systems by entering
into management partnerships. In order for management partnerships, or “shared management”, to
succeed, many conditions need to be met. One critical factor is proximity between the small and large
water systems.

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