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, Office of Drinking Water (VDH-ODW) is one of 12 partners monitoring drought conditions and its effects in the Commonwealth of Virginia guided by the Virginia Drought Assessment and Response Plan. These monitoring efforts are led by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) through a group called the Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF).
Under the DMTF, the VDH-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 August 2017, one waterworks is implementing voluntary water use restrictions in Virginia.
The Town of Strasburg (PWS ID 2171750) implemented voluntary restrictions based on the 7-day running average of stream flows in the North Fork Shenandoah River on July 7. On August 9, the running average was measured at 169 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is below the 175 cfs voluntary restriction trigger set by Virginia DEQ. However, the reservoir is full and source capacity is not currently affected. The Town serves a population of approximately 6,489 people.
VDH-ODW’s Drought Monitoring map and trend are illustrated below. The map reflects the percentage of public surface water sources operating under drought restrictions within the main river basins of Virginia. The trend shows the amount of waterworks that have been affected by drought conditions since March 2002. Click the illustrations to access the file.
Other useful links
- DEQ Drought Status, Tools, Other Resources and Full Drought Report
- EPA Tools on Drought Response and Recovery for Water Utilities
- National Drought Monitor (Virginia)
- NOAA-NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
- NOAA-NWS Climate Prediction Center
- USGS Groundwater Watch
- USGS Surface Water real-time stream flows