Supervisors approve drought ordinance

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Nov 20, 2013 - 01:25 PM

The Mathews County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on a drought ordinance Tuesday and unanimously voted to pass it in order to comply with a state mandate.

There was no discussion of the matter during Tuesday’s meeting, but county administrator Mindy Moran said the matter had been discussed during closed session after last month’s meeting, in consultation with the county attorney.

The three-page ordinance gives the county authority to monitor drought conditions in cooperation with other jurisdictions, to declare a water emergency if necessary, and to impose restrictions on water use for residents whose water is furnished by a public water utility system if a water emergency is declared.

Moran said the ordinance effectively doesn’t apply to Mathews because there is no county-owned public water supply to regulate and the ordinance doesn’t apply to private wells. However, she said that all jurisdictions were required to adopt the ordinance or face the possibility of paying a penalty.

According to the ordinance, public wells that are privately owned and operated would have to demonstrate capacity requirements on a monthly basis during a drought emergency.