Water for the duration

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2005

There will be plenty of water to accommodate the city’s booming residential and industrial growth in coming years.

Last week, the Department of Environmental Quality issued a draft groundwater permit to the Western Tidewater Water Authority, a regional water authority comprised of Suffolk and Isle of Wight County. The final permit will be issued this summer.

The permit, which has taken three years to get approved, gives the authority the green light to pump an additional 4.6 million gallons of water per day, said Al Moor, the city’s director of public works, during Wednesday’s Suffolk City Council meeting.

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Currently, the authority is drawing a total of 8.3 million gallons daily.

Increasing the amount ensures the authority will be able to meet the projected water demands of Suffolk and Isle of Wight through 2013, Moor said.

&uot;That’s significant,&uot; said Mayor Bobby L. Ralph.

&uot;Now we can begin working beyond that time.&uot;

The permit also consolidates all of the authority’s existing groundwater permits into one, Moor said.

The council got its first look at an ordinance calling for the city to appropriate $30,000 from the city’s self-supporting public utilities fund to the water authority. It stands to approved at the council’s May 18 meeting.

Isle of Wight County has budgeted the same amount of money to the organization, Moor said.

&uot;That will allow the authority to continue…long-term planning for the region’s future water needs,&uot; he said.

In 1998, the water authority was formed to address regional water source development to meet the future demands of the two localities.