Monday, April 25, 2022

It's all about water: Land uses can protect the Occoquan Reservoir.

Fairfax county acted early to protect the Occoquan Reservoir, our drinking water, by preserving 5,000 acres of parkland adjacent to the reservoir and down-zoning 41,000 acres.

"Streams in the down-zoned area are amongst the most pristine in the county. So it is a protection strategy" Greg Prelewicz explained during a program we hosted with Fairfax Water last year. | Watch the full presentation

The Occoquan Reservoir watershed spans part of Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun Counties, with the largest portion falling within Prince William County. Prince William County's primary strategy to protect the reservoir is to limit development in the headwaters via the smart growth tool called the Rural Crescent.

Proposals such as the PW Gateway, the Data Center Overlay, and Land use Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan would impact stream water quality flowing into the reservoir. | Read more about proposals

Fairfax Water, the largest water utility in Virginia, draws water from the Occoquan Reservoir as two of its primary sources. Faced with the task of providing clean drinking water in a highly urbanized environment, they are urging the Prince William Planning Department to conduct a water study to assist with the aforementioned land-use decisions. Read the full letter

A thorough independent study of how upcoming land-use proposals may impact our water supply is a key part of sustainable development and sound planning practices. Read our letter of support here, where we additionally recommend that the Board of County Supervisors extend an invitation to Fairfax Water to further discuss their concerns. The BOCS agreed and the presentation will be held on June 7th during the 2 pm meeting.

Additional Information

Land Use, the Occoquan Reservoir Watershed and You | Your Piece of the Planet Blog | September 16, 2021

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