RECOMMENDATIONS TO STATE WATER COMMISSION:

1.      The State Water Commission should consider the water supply planning framework and guiding principles adopted by the Rappahannock River Basin Commission in the Water Commissionís statewide water supply planning effort.

2.      The State Water Commission should use the Rappahannock River Basin for a pilot study of water supply planning in the Commonwealth of Virginia where both ground and surface water data can be developed and existing models can be verified to support local water supply planning.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE SECRETARIES OF NATURAL RESOURCE AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:

1.      Commission a comprehensive study of groundwater resources in the Piedmont area of the basin to supply information on quantity and sustainability of current uses in order to provide information for local governments to use in water supply and land use management plans. 

2.   Reduce the groundwater withdrawal-reporting threshold required by the Department of Environmental Quality from 10,000 gallons per day to 3,000 gallons per day to better quantify existing groundwater withdrawals.

3.   Require well depth and static water level to be reported on all new wells and require this information to be gathered and analyzed by the Department of Environmental Quality in order to provide localities up to date information on quantity and sustainability of their groundwater resources.

4.   Direct the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Quality to inventory all existing permitted wells and identify the cumulative quantity of water withdrawn from these wells specific to each aquifer. * Note: This information is currently required by DEQ to be submitted by well drillers on the Well Driller Report Form (GW-2).

RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR:

1.      The Rappahannock River Basin Commission respectfully recommends that the Commonwealth pursue efforts to consolidate the water supply planning and policy functions within state government.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LOCALITIES WITHIN THE RAPPAHANNOCK ROVER BASIN

1.      Water supply planning should be an integral part of county comprehensive planning.

2.      As part of this comprehensive planning process all localities within the basin should develop or initiate a water supply plan within the next 6 months, following Rappahannock River Basin Commission recommended guidelines, that project both supply and demand needs through 2050.

3.      This water supply plan should utilize the supply and demand models provided by the basin commission.

4.      These plans should be developed in concert with other localities in the basin to maximize the opportunity for intergovernmental cooperation in supply and demand projections, drought management, and conservation measures, and the development of planned source water protection initiatives.

5.      Sub-regional planning within the basin should be utilized by localities in the development of these plans to allow cooperative decision making for both surface and groundwater resource planning. Areas that predominantly utilize a specific water resource (groundwater or surface water) within a geographic province (coastal plain, piedmont) should cooperate in the development of their water supply plans so that water resources can be developed and utilized with maximum utility to all stakeholders.