Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Virginia Water Resources Plan open for public review

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The Virginia Water Resources Plan, the state’s first comprehensive effort to incorporate information from locally developed water supply plans, is available for public review and comment through May 8.

“This plan represents the first time Virginia has taken a comprehensive statewide look at water supply needs, present and future,”  Bill Hayden, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) spokesman, recently told EP News Wire in emailed comments.

The water resources plan is a compilation of the information from local plans and includes an analysis of how future water demand may affect key water uses. Among the main components of the plan are an extensive look at surface water and groundwater sources, and an assessment of the capacity of these sources to meet the projected water demand until 2040.

The plan outlines water supply challenges in Virginia and identifies recommendations to address them.

“Some of the challenges include management of groundwater for use by people and industries, and ensuring long-term availability of water from sources such as rivers and reservoirs,” Hayden said.

Recommendations for addressing the issues include development of rules for surface water withdrawals and impoundment releases that are currently excluded from Virginia Water Protection permitting requirements. In addition, expansion of groundwater monitoring wells in localities outside the eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area would improve understanding of the groundwater resource and how pumping affects the aquifer. Increased emphasis on conservation efforts by localities also would help reduce demand.

The plan is available on the DEQ website at

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Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

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