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Water supply plan is finished

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By M.K. Luther-mkluther@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Warren County officials will receive the final draft of a regional water supply plan next month.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission will present the plan at the Board of Supervisors' July 19 meeting, said Jill Keihn, natural resources manager with the commission.

The regional water supply plan includes 20 jurisdictions, and will be submitted to the State Water Control Board and Department of Environmental Quality.

The state requires every locality to prepare and provide a supply plan either on local or regional level, Keihn said.

"[The state] just want to make sure we have enough water for everyone in the future," she said.

The plan was prepared using data from 2008, 2003 and 2002 in order to include the area's most recent documented drought and rainy seasons.

The regional water supply plan is required to extend for 30 to 50 years, Keihn said. The plan presented will go through 2040 for area jurisdictions.

The plan also identifies alternative water sources and how the water system is affected by periods of rain and drought, as well as the variables between public and private users.
"Warren County has been at the forefront," Keihn said, citing the county's studies of stream flow and commission a U.S. Geological Survey groundwater study.

The study's findings on the 170 square miles of the county were presented in January.
"You are looking at what the quality and quantity of your groundwater is as well as your surface water," Keihn said.

The plan also analyzed the water supply of the county's various golf courses and
private users such as subdivisions and housing developments.

The plan establishes a drought response action, a drought ordinance and defines the "triggers" that would kick the drought plan into action.

The regional water supply plan must be submitted by November. The plan also will be reviewed every five years, and sent back to the State Water Control Board every 10 years.
Following the July 19 meeting, the supervisors must schedule a public hearing on the water supply plan.

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