This summer, PEC participated in a Water Information Session organized by the Conservation Roundtable. Other guests include Michael Focazio, Marshall District WSA Board Representative, and Kurt McCoy with USGS. The purpose was to discuss the drinking water challenges facing Fauquier County.
PEC’s presentation, Water Demand in Fauquier County: Build-Out Analysis of Service Districts, given by our Fauquier field representative Julie Bolthouse, focused on the need to understand our near and long term water demand.
In light of the vacuum of information currently available, PEC conducted its own build-out analysis of the current zoning and land use plans for the service districts. Water supply is another important aspect to understand. The bottom line is that we don’t have unlimited funds to drill wells and build infrastructure, even if we have plenty of raw water. On top of this, much of our water resources are needed to serve ecological purposes and it is dangerous to assume all rainfall is available for human use. We need to be more strategic and less reactive about our water resource infrastructure. We need to work to better understand the water and sewer resources that our current zoning and future plans would require, then plan accordingly.
Our build-out analysis showed that none of our service districts have excess capacity and some need nearly three times the current capacity just to meet needs that are allowed through by-right zoning. With development picking back up and several areas facing drinking water challenges, now is the time to start thinking about this.