Jeremy Borden wrote about objections folks are raising to the planned reservoir enlargement last week, and the organization that’s opposing it. Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan are against the $142M plan to embiggen the Ragged Mountain Reservoir by 180 acres and fill it with a pipeline from the Rivanna Reservoir. Their proposal is to, instead, dredge the South Fork of the Rivanna Reservoir. But dredging was considered and rejected as an option by the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, who didn’t like its unpredictable cost ($127M-$145M) and questionable results.
All of this is a result of the nasty 2002 drought, which everybody would like to avoid. An undercurrent of the reservoir discussions is growth — population growth puts significantly more pressure on our limited water resources, and some folks figure that we if we just don’t expand the reservoir, that’ll prevent the population from expanding much more. On the other side there are people whose livelihoods depend on uninterrupted growth, who want to see the reservoirs expanded to make it possible for new construction to continue. I don’t mean to say that many people fall into these camps, only that this is an unspoken part of this debate that color the views of some opinion makers.