The long-term Charlottesville residents told me about some of the changes that have happened to local rivers over the past thirty years. Tremendous growth has put pressure on existing reservoirs and the Water Authority has had trouble planning for the new developments. Some developers have not even informed the water authority of new housing sites. Another problem is the lack of rainfall. As one Trout Unlimited member said, "It just used to rain more."
The Moorman's River has suffered from the lack of rainfall and increased demand. It used to "roar" every Spring, but now just has enough to survive. The river dries up in the summer and all the fish stocked in the winter die. At the presentation tonight, however, the Rivanna Water Authority issued a plan for the Moorman's restoration. No, the Sugar Hollow Dam will not come down, but the new goal is to equal "in-flows" with "out-flows." This means that flows coming in from the North Fork of the Moorman's will equal flows heading out the bottom of the dam. A small concrete barrier in front of the dam will come down, also increasing flows.
The new plan is contingent on the enlargement of a dam at the nearby Ragged Mountain and a new pipeline connecting Ragged Mountain to the South Rivanna River. Basically, the Water Authority is enlarging the capacity of one area to relieve the Moorman's. Hopefully the plan will be completed while I am still in Charlottesville. Charlottesville and the folks living in the city needs to come up with a plan of sustainable growth to ensure that water resources remain intact.