The Iowa Rural Water Association is pleased to announce that John Humphrey with the Rathbun Regional Water Association has been inducted into the IRWA Hall of Fame. Mr. Humphrey was presented this honor during the Iowa Rural Water Association’s 39th Annual Conference held at the Veteran’s Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center Feb. 24-26 in Des Moines.
“This award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to IRWA either legislatively or in other capacities such as service to the IRWA Board, and or active participation in IRWA committees and other functions,” said Iowa Rural Water Association President Randy Pleima.
John and Linda Humphrey, along with their two sons moved to Centerville in 1966 when Humphrey took the position of Appanoose County Supervisor for the Farmer’s Home Administration and replaced Lloyd Scott, who had taken a position in Des Moines with FHA.
Six months into his new position in Centerville Humphrey began corresponding with Kenneth Owen, who was working with the Appanoose County Rural Water Board to bring rural water to the county. In 1968 a group of farmers met at the County Courthouse and formed Appanoose County Rural Water. At this time Lucas, Monroe and Wayne counties were progressing in the same direction and in 1972 the four Boards voted to participate in the construction of one treatment plant utilizing Rathbun Lake as the water source.
Humphrey facilitated funding for the Treatment Plant and the four Boards merged into one entity called Rathbun Regional Water Association. What began as a $3 million idea became a $25 million project funded through FHA and EDA for both water distribution and a water treatment plant in 1975.
Humphrey continued to work with RRWA in the funding aspect for expansion into Davis, Van Buren and Lee counties. After more than 25 years with USDA-RD Humphrey resigned his position and accepted the position of Chief Administrative Officer with Rathbun Regional Water Association in 1993. At RRWA Humphrey still focused on funding for the expansion of RRWA into Des Moines and Henry Counties. In 1998 the current plant’s capacity was doubled to eight million gallons a day.