- Report Published -
|Virginia Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee 2008 Annual Report|
|Virginia Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee|
|The Virginia Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee (VRRBAC) was established in the executive branch of state government as an advisory committee to the Virginia delegation to the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission. VRRBAC assists the delegation in fulfilling its duties and carrying out the objectives of the Commission, pursuant to Virginia Code § 62.1-69.39.|
VRRBAC continues to advance its goals, despite the challenges noted below. Members participated in efforts involving Roanoke River Basin (Basin) issues including total maximum daily load (TMDL) studies, the Smith Mountain Lake FERC re-licensing process, and the Philpott 216 Study. VRRBAC held three meetings, learning about, and discussing, topics related to the Basin and developing positions on Basin-related issues.
The counterpart North Carolina Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee (NCRRBAC) began meeting this year and the inaugural meeting of the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission is being planned for the first quarter of 2009.
This inaugural meeting of the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission is exciting and holds promise for addressing issues between the two States in the Basin. Drought still plagues both States and the Raleigh area outside the Basin is considering taking water from the Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake) in the Basin. VRRBAC is interested in working with Virginia’s congressional delegation and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to develop a change in Federal law and policy that would protect regions, like the Basin, with valuable natural water resources from losing these water resources to meet the needs of larger areas that may be facing the depletion of their own natural water resources due to rapid growth. Several VRRBAC members met with members and staff of the Virginia congressional delegation and staff from the USACE to discuss this issue. The USACE is encouraging the Roanoke River Basin Bi-State Commission to forge an agreement among Virginia and North Carolina to address this issue.
In the past, the General Assembly has appropriated $2000 per year to VRRBAC for operating expenses and this source of operating funds has been invaluable to the group and should be continued. Additional funds, however, are necessary for VRRBAC to fulfill its mission and to produce more tangible products, such as position papers on the Basin issues and other educational forums on relevant topics. Such activities would allow the VRRBAC to help provide integrated management of the entire watershed, help improve and maintain environmental quality in the Basin area, and help protect public health in the Basin.
This report provides information regarding VRRBAC’s activities during the 2008 calendar year and identifies issues important to the success of VRRBAC and to the Roanoke River Basin.