Prolonged periods of drought have environmental, economical and social consequences.
Droughts directly affect both the quantity and quality of drinking water supplies.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Office of Drinking Water (ODW) is one of 12 partners
monitoring drought conditions and its effects in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These monitoring
efforts are lead by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) through a group
called the Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF).
Under the DMTF, the ODW is responsible for monitoring and reporting the operational status of
waterworks as it relates to drought conditions.
ODW’s DMTF Latest Report
As of November 2014, one waterworks is operating under mandatory water use restrictions in Virginia. The impacted waterworks is the Town of Strasburg (PWSID 2171750). They serve a population of about 6,500 in Warren County. The waterworks imposed the water use restrictions on October 28, 2014, due to stream flow conditions lower than 115 cfs in the North Fork Shenandoah River.
Improvements in previously impacted waterworks include the Town of Front Royal (PWSID 2187406), which lifted their voluntary water use restrictions on October 23, 2014.
The Chesterfield County Central Water System (PWSID 4041845) reported a lower than normal level in the Swift Creek Reservoir. However, no water use restrictions were imposed, as they supplement their potable water supply from the City of Richmond and Appomattox River Water Authority.
ODW’s Drought Monitoring map and trend are illustrated below. The map (left) reflects the
percentage of public surface water sources operating under drought restrictions within the main
river basins of Virginia. The trend (right) shows the amount of waterworks that have been
affected by drought conditions since March, 2002. Click the illustrations to enlarge the image.
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