The Mathews County Board of Supervisors adopted the Regional Water Supply Plan developed by the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission during its March 28 meeting in the historic courthouse.
Interim county administrator Steve Whiteway explained during the public hearing on the matter that the Virginia General Assembly has required that every locality have a water supply plan. In order to save taxpayer money, the county agreed to participate in a regional plan that includes the other municipalities of the Middle Peninsula.
However, no ordinance has been created to enforce the plan. Instead, the board decided to wait until later to adopt an emergency ordinance if drought conditions arise.
An executive summary states that the plan evaluates existing water sources and water usage and projected future growth in demand and competing uses. The purpose is to ensure that sufficient water is available to meet the residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and institutional needs of the region.
The plan also provides a framework for responding to droughts, according to the summary. Deep wells that serve community systems are typically buffered from meteorological drought, it says. Although shallow wells that primarily serve small private users are more vulnerable, they are generally self-policing and don’t require public regulation. Drought conditions for these users may be addressed through education and voluntary action, says the summary.