Rivanna Reservoir. Photo by Patricia Temples

Locally, what we do in our backyards matters to downstream users. Activities on land can increase the amount of pollution that enters waterways, from car oils and fuels, to fertilizers and animal waste. All pollution moves with water and sediment and rates of pollution can increase where there is erosion along streambanks in rural settings, or where there is increased impervious surfaces like pavement and rooftops in urban areas.

Land conservation, land use planning, green infrastructure and advocacy are PEC’s primary methods for reducing impervious surfaces. 

Land conservation

PEC has helped landowners permanently protect nearly 370,000 acres of rural or natural land. Conservation Easements help ensure that the Virginia Piedmont is always characterized by its open spaces, healthy environment, and cultural resources. PEC’s commitment to stewardship of conserved lands will ensure that much of this region’s valuable farmland, forests, wetlands, scenic countryside and historic heritage are forever protected. 

Land use

Efforts to maximize good land use, ranging from farming and forestry to cities and suburbs work to meet PEC’s water conservation goals. Land use practices involving energy, agricultural practices, and urban and industrial development have a major impact on the available water supply.