WHEREAS, the Rivanna Reservoir is a crucial natural resource for Albemarle County, for a source of drinking water and for recreational and scenic values and for its role in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and


            WHEREAS, the Reservoir’s useable storage has been reduced by roughly 39 percent by sedimentation since its construction, which equates to about 65,000 cubic yards of sediment annually; and


            WHEREAS, approximately one-half of the current and projected water needed through 2020 for the Charlottesville/Albemarle County community is directly attributable to sedimentation of the Rivanna Reservoir; and


            WHEREAS, starting in 1997, the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority has been investigating long-range solutions to water supply for the community with dredging being a key part of the future water supply strategy; one which has widespread public support and was the subject of a 2003 Technical Memorandum for the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority; and


            WHEREAS, a similar situation existed in Decatur, Illinois, with their water resource, with storage volume cut by 35 percent and 160,000 tons of sediment entering Lake Decatur each year (equating to 7,273 semi-truck trailer loads); and


            WHEREAS, elected officials in that community decided not to let their lake die, hiring a Maryland firm to dredge 2.1 million cubic yards in 1993-1994 for $6.5 million, reclaiming nine percent of the lake’s storage volume and now plan a $25.0 million multi-year project to remove more sediment and reclaim more volume; and


            WHEREAS, staff in the Illinois community is convinced that “sediment is a growth industry” and is finding markets for the dredged materials; and


            WHEREAS, the County has already shown interest in reservoir sediment removal, carrying out waterway buffer education programs in 1999, and, in 2000 and 2001, preparing a report on sediment research needs for the Rivanna Reservoir through the Thomas Jefferson Water Resources Advisory Committee;


            NOW THEREFORE, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors states its interest in the life of the Rivanna Reservoir and requests that the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority and the Albemarle County Engineering, Watershed Protection office, and Planning Department investigate more thoroughly the potential for dredging the Rivanna Reservoir; and


            FURTHERMORE, that they include in that investigation a further analysis at least of the Decatur, Illinois, situation and the Ellicott “mud cat” as based in Baltimore, Maryland (with Baltimore Dredges, LLC); and


            FURTHERMORE, that the recent Gannett Fleming report that was based on the need to dredge the Reservoir completely to regain the original Reservoir’s useable storage at an estimated cost of $127.0 million to $145.0 million be reconsidered with a goal of maintenance dredging as one portion of the water supply equation; and


            FURTHERMORE, IN SUMMARY, the Board of Supervisors holds that the Rivanna Reservoir is too important in myriad ways for it to be consigned to be filled with silt without a determined effort to retain its life, and that the role of dredging in this determined effort needs serious attention.


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