Edmonton water company Epcor Utilities Inc. has made a move into the American water market.

The company announced Tuesday it is buying $35 million US worth of shares of Arizona-based Chaparral City Water Company.

The American public utility company buys and sells water to approximately 13,000 residents in the town of Fountain Hills and a small portion of Scottsdale, Ariz.

"This investment provides Epcor entry into the water utility market in Arizona," Don Lowry, president and CEO of Epcor, said in a statement.

"It establishes a base in the U.S. southwest from which we intend to grow our water business. Gaining presence in this market is a key part of Epcor's growth strategy and we look forward to serving these customers and being an active member of the community."

Epcor currently provides water to more than one million people in 70 communities throughout Western Canada.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by 2011.