Cities celebrate pipeline’s completion

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 19, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Raising their water glasses in a toast, city officials from Suffolk, Portsmouth and Norfolk on Friday celebrated the completion of a new water pipeline and the regional cooperation that produced it.

The four-mile pipeline links Lake Prince and Lake Meade, reservoirs in this city that are owned by Portsmouth and Norfolk respectively.

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The two cities, along with the Western Tidewater Water Authority, a regional water authority comprised of Suffolk and Isle of Wight County, announced plans to build the $3 million pipeline in August 2002, after last summer’s drought left Portsmouth’s water levels about 54 percent lower than average.

Under the original plan, Portsmouth would be able to buy up to 10,000 gallons of surplus water daily from Norfolk’s Lake Prince if needed. That plan called for Portsmouth to pay .39 cents per 1,000 gallons of water.

&uot;This is a strong example of how cities can come together,&uot; said Norfolk Mayor Paul D. Fraim. &uot;Norfolk has plenty of water for the foreseeable future, …enough to share with other communities.

&uot;…If and when the water is necessary, it will be there.&uot;

Equally important, said Suffolk Mayor E. Dana Dickens, is the significance of the pipeline.

&uot;The pipeline is going to be a strategic asset to all of our communities,&uot; he said. &uot;But above all, it is a symbol of what we can do as a region.&uot;

The regionalism is something the state is hoping other communities in Virginia will emulate, said state Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources David K. Paylor.

&uot;This is a prime example of what we are trying to accomplish statewide.&uot;