A Call for Dredging of SFRR
- April 28, 2008: Piedmont Chapter of the Sierra Club changes position on water supply plan. Asks for reconsideration
We believe that prudence now dictates reconsideration of dredging of the Rivanna Reservoir as a key element in a longterm water supply plan. In our view, maintaining the current capacity and functionality of
the Rivanna Reservoir is highly desirable, as is the preservation of the thousands of trees
that would be lost in the current Ragged Mountain plan.
- June 3 and 11, 2008: Resolutions by City Council and Albemarle BOS in support of a study of dredging.
"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that in addition to the specific elements of the community water supply plan approved by the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority, the City Council and the Board of Supervisors, the Board of Supervisors hereby requests the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority to undertake a study of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir ....."
- June 23, 2008: RWSA votes to conduct a dredging study.
"Mr. Tucker moved that the Board of Directors vote to proceed with moving forward with implementing the study of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir as recommended by Mr. Frederick at today’s meeting, seconded by Mr. O’Connell. The motion was approved by a 5-0 vote. Vote by RWSA in support of a study of dredging." (page 12)
- June 30, 2008: Instead, a task force is formed
- August 2008: Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP) write letter in support of a study of dredging
"In light of new information concerning the cost and feasibility of restoring the water capacity of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir through dredging, Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP) urges that a study of the feasibility and costs of dredging the reservoir be completed before any steps are taken to implement the existing long term water supply plan. '
- September 22, 2008: In a special news conference, RWSA announces that the price of the new Ragged Mountain dam has tripled in price. A stop work order is ordered until a review of the new estimate is done by another consultant.
- September 26, 2008: Five city neighborhood associations cite fiscal considerations in their support of a study of dredging.
"It is hereby resolved that the City Council of Charlottesville, in order to insure that City taxpayers and water/sewer-rate payers are not subject to unnecessary water and sewer rate increases, tax increases, and to protect the integrity of the City-owned Ragged Mountain Natural Area, will prohibit any excavation, de-forestation, or road construction activities related to the proposed Ragged Mountain Dam; unless studies clearly demonstrate that construction of a new dam and pipeline is less expensive and less environmentally destructive than dredging of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir as part of the Fifty Year Community Water Supply Plan."
- October 2008:
315 members of the public responded to the public survey distributed by the task force. In response to the question, “What are your expectations or desires for the future of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir?”
Of the 251 responses: 85% wanted SFRR preserved, maintained, restored, or enlarged; 70% of those used the word dredge.
- October 27, 2008: The majority opinion of those who came to the public hearing held by the task force supported a study of dredging.
- Hundreds of members of the public signed a petition calling for a study of dredging that was delivered to City Council.
- November 3, 2008: Resolution by City Council in support of a study of dredging in addition to technical reviews of the dam and pipeline.
Of significance they added that ...
"Council in adopting this Scope of Work on November 3, 2008 requested that construction work on the dam will not proceed until the other studies are complete."
- November 13, 2008: Letter in support of a study of dredging from the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District.
"These Board members and members from other jurisdictions recommend that the feasibility of dredging the SFRR be re-considered, and if found feasible, that the restored capacity of the reservoir be factored into the long term water supply plan."
- January 2009: Sierra Club issues a new statement to the task force and asks that it be included in the SFRR Stewardship Task Force Report
The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club recommends a study of the costs and feasibility of dredging the Rivanna Reservoir to restore its original water storage capacity be conducted. Possibly excessive estimates of the cost of dredging provided during development of the current water plan may have led to the mistaken rejection of dredging of the Rivanna Reservoir as the primary means of providing long term water supply.