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UNITED WATER RESOURCES POISED FOR GROWTH, EXECS ANNOUNCE AT ANNUAL MEETING

 -- Commitment to customer service,
 settlement of land issue highlight meeting --
 HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J., May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Senior executives of United Water Resources (NYSE: UWR) are confident that the company is well positioned for growth with a solid strategic plan and strong financial base, they announced to shareholders at the annual meeting today. The meeting, attended by more than 300 people, was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Hasbrouck Heights.
 Donald L. Correll, president and chief executive officer, told shareholders that a four-part strategic plan will enhance the value of their investments, enabling United Water to maximize its strengths and become a premier water services company that compares favorably with any water services company in the country. He also noted that an increased commitment to customer service and the settlement of a decade-long land dispute will spur further growth.
 Increased Visibility Promotes Commitment to Customers
 Reaching out to customers is a key component of growth, Correll said. As part of that plan, United Water's subsidiary, Hackensack Water Company, will open a model customer service center in the City of Hackensack this June.
 In addition to a convenient place for customers to pay bills, the new center will feature an exhibit area where people can learn about water quality, wise water use and how Hackensack Water can be of service to them. Most of the company's customer service staff now located in the Harrington Park corporate headquarters will relocate to Hackensack. Service will still be available in Harrington Park, however, so customers can pay their bills there if they find it more convenient.
 The new center underscores United Water's commitment to increasing its visibility to customers, Correll said, especially as the public becomes more concerned about water quality and safety.
 "There's a kind of paradox about being a water utility," he said. "If your `product' is crystal clear and tastes good and always automatically comes out of the tap, if it meets all government standards, if your service is seamless -- well, in a way, what you do is `invisible' to the public. And with a significant portion of our property being pipes and valves buried underground, even a large part of our assets is out of sight. Water utilities always used to want to be invisible. But now it is imperative that we be very, very visible. Consumers have a lot of questions about health and safety issues -- and it is important that they have confidence in their source of water."
 Correll noted that Hackensack Water Company alone has invested over a quarter of a billion dollars in infrastructure and quality improvements to insure customer confidence in their water source.
 Land settlement ends decade-long dispute
 Two weeks ago, United Water reached a conceptual agreement with two environmental groups and a state agency to end a controversy about past land transfers from Hackensack Water to Rivervale Realty, another subsidiary of the company, Correll announced. The settlement would end complex litigation by the Environmental Defense Fund and Save the Watershed Action Network (SWAN) seeking to overturn the real estate transfers.
 The settlement would preserve 640 acres of open space, including 350 acres to be reacquired by the water company and 290 acres of golf courses owned by its real estate subsidiary. The company's reservoir system already contributes to about 6,000 acres to the regional supply of green, open space. The settlement will free up 230 other acres that has significant development potential. The agreement, pending approval from the Board of Regulatory Commissioners and the Watershed Property Review Board, minimizes the impact of an increased rate base on the cost to customers and recognizes the value of shareholders' investments.
 The land settlement would further strengthen Rivervale Realty's opportunity for growth. "United Water can now move forward, with the slate clear of the cost and distraction of litigation, to make even more progress in our real estate operation," Correll said.
 Revenues from real estate operations contributed $1 million or 6.4 percent of United Water's net income in 1992, John Turner, vice president and controller, reported. "Even in a dormant real estate market, our real estate activities have made contributions to earnings in each of the past four years," he noted.
 Solid financial base a cornerstone for growth
 Turner outlined United Water's financial strength, saying that a key component of the company's stability lies in the fact that its major capital expenditures were completed in the 1980s. In the past 10 years, United Water has invested $326 million in new facilities to insure that it meets or exceeds all existing and projected water quality standards, while others in the industry are just starting to invest capital toward that end.
 Both Moody's and Standard & Poor's upgraded their ratings of Hackensack's outstanding bonds during 1992 based on the company's strong financial position, limited future capital needs, and internal cash generation, Turner noted.
 Turner also pointed out that the company's strong customer stock purchase plan and dividend reinvestment program continue to be highly successful sources of equity capital. A total of $17 million was reinvested in the company through these programs during 1992. Since the inception of the customer stock purchase plan in 1991, over 2,500 utility customers have contributed almost $6 million in new equity.
 "United Water and its subsidiaries are in excellent financial shape," Turner said. "We are well positioned to support the growth of our core water utility business and our non-regulated activities."
 Strategic Plan Will Enhance Shareholder Value
 A four-part strategic plan to increase shareholder value positions the company well for future growth, Correll said. Plans include expanding utility operations; leveraging operating expertise in other regulated and non-regulated businesses; continuing to strengthen financial resources and financial capacity; and maintaining a commitment to pay dividends at the highest appropriate level.
 Correll stressed that United Water's primary operations -- Hackensack Water and Spring Valley Water -- will remain as the company's core. Both have strong growth potential, he noted, citing Spring Valley's pending acquisition of the Village of Sloatsburg, New York's water operation as an example of an opportunity to add markets through acquisition of private or municipal water systems. He said other water systems can also benefit from United Water's expertise on a contract basis.
 "Finding systems to acquire -- even municipal systems -- is both an opportunity and a challenge," Correll said. "There is a movement across the country for municipal systems to seek out cost efficient ways to provide water to people. Roughly 80 percent of the U.S. population is provided with water service by municipalities or other government entities, and they are all struggling with severe budget constraints which make it hard for them to meet government standards.
 "Here is where our marketing focus is important. It is not so difficult to identify systems that need help. But solving their problems and determining how United Water can be involved is, in effect, a marketing challenge. We can provide water; we can build, own and operate the filter plants they require; we can simply provide management services. We are in constant discussions with systems in our region to develop relationships and help them in ways that help us, too."
 Strong Management Team Will Spur Growth
 Robert A. Gerber, chairman of the board of directors and United Water's former CEO, expressed confidence that the company's management succession program has continued to provide strong leadership to build value in the years ahead. Throughout 1992, the company's board of directors appointed professionals to new positions as several senior executives retired.
 Correll credited Gerber and George Haskew, recently retired president of United Water's utilities, with innovative leadership that assures the company of drought-resistant supplies through the Wanaque South Project -- a regional project which provides access to vast water reserves -- and pure water supplies through the Haworth ozone treatment plant.
 "Thanks to them, United Water is building on a foundation that is both financially and technologically sound and -- perhaps most important of all -- on a strong tradition of excellence and accomplishment," Correll said.
 He described the new management as "a team of achievers who bring creativity and innovative thinking to their positions."
 "This group has a unique blend of experience with United Water, deep expertise in our industry -- as well as other valuable career experiences," he added. "Many of them have shouldered much broader responsibilities this year, because they are very good at what they do."
 United Water's shareholders re-elected Frank J. Borrelli, Douglas S. Hawes, and Dennis M. Newnham to three-year terms on the board. They also elected Correll to a one-year term. Price Waterhouse was re- appointed as the company's independent auditors.
 United Water Resources is a holding company engaged in water-related businesses and real estate. Its utility subsidiaries, Hackensack and Spring Valley water companies, serve over one million people in New Jersey and New York. United Water's real estate subsidiary, Rivervale Realty Company, owns developable land and several office buildings in the metropolitan area. Other subsidiaries provide environmental testing and automatic meter reading services, and construct and operate small water and sewer utilities.
 United Water has paid continuous cash dividends on its common stock since 1886.
 -0- 5/10/93
 /CONTACT: Martha Green, 201-767-2841, or Carolyn Iglesias, 201-767-2836, or Rose Duger, 201-767-3900, ext. 3090, Eves., weekends 201-487-0011, all of United Water Resources/
 (UWR)


CO: United Water Resources ST: New Jersey IN: UTI SU:

LD -- NY004 -- 6467 05/10/93 12:01 EDT
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Date:May 10, 1993
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