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Floyd County’s Ground Water Is Unique and Vulnerable

“Ground water is the source for all public water supplies serving Floyd County residents. Ground water supplies are divided into northwestern and southeastern sections according to the subsurface configuration and composition of the bedrock. Floyd County lacks true aquifers; it relies instead on water-filled fractures….the risks of contamination in any shallow wells are significant.” (written into law by Floyd County government.)

http://www.floydcova.org/compplannov14/chapter3.pdf

Fortunately, someone official at one point in time made the effort to preserve Floyd’s natural resources – considering things like our water source as important. After watching the disturbing documentary ‘Gasland’ a couple of nights ago, I was alarmed at the response of the gas and pipeline company’s when residents water supply was no longer drinkable, “Move!” they said.  And their elected officials had been offered 6 figure salaries to go work for these same corporations.

Which is why I was thrilled to hear Karen Maute make this statement in an email last night, “Not only are you working to protect water for residential and farming use…You are working to protect Floyd County’s future growth and economic development.  At present, it appears that Floyd Co. may have it’s human heath, agricultural productivity and future economic growth and development significantly, negatively impacted, more so than any other county in VA, due to…its unique and vulnerable water resources.”

Floyd water is special.  It does not come from a deep protected aquifer miles under ground, may wells are considered shallow even if they are hundreds of feet.  Our water runs into the rivers and streams of many counties downstream of us. We take that responsibility seriously. We don’t want to jeopardize anyone, in Floyd or any other county, with a risky pipeline project.

Folks in Floyd County have always protected our water supply. That’s why it’s so good and clean now. We understand that our children and grandchildren will be inheriting unique underground water sources, wells, and springs, which is the main reason we oppose the fracked gas pipeline project.

 This is a continuation of Fred First’s previous article, Confluence: Water and the Pipeline, please read.

 

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Confluence: Water and the Pipeline

Many of you attended the showing of”To the Last Drop“–the locally-filmed Floyd County water documentary shown at the Eco-village on September 14. The ideas and interviews for that film started in the summer of 2013 long before there was any knowledge of Mountain Valley’s proposed interstate pipeline.

So it was well timed that Partnership for Floyd’s efforts culminated with the premier showing at just the time that our water–and that of all impacted and down-stream counties–was rising to the top of Preserve Floyd’s concerns. We began to consider the impact of natural gas pipelines on the water across more than 800 miles of landscape threatened by the combined length of Mountain Valley and the Atlantic Coast Pipelines.

While our attention still resonates with voices, places, hopes and concerns from the movie, let me just say a bit more about water as we continue to be vigilant against any forces or agencies that put tomorrow’s water at risk. Towards that end, I’ll share a “this I believe” kind of statement I wrote recently in the process of trying to distill my thoughts:

Ninety-five percent of Floyd County residents get their water from wells. From an injury to any one, other neighbors can suffer. So we are vigilant to protect our ground and surface waters today, even as we also look ahead. Adequate clean water in our county is a right, far into the future, that we are not willing to put at risk. And as we care for the water that falls on this plateau, we are also mindful of its quality as it passes through communities between here and the Gulf or the Atlantic. Ultimately, water is a shared necessity to life that we care for together across space and across time.

Our actions to insure that our waters are protected today become a legacy of reliable water for the next generations. Water, adequate and clean, is a right, not a commodity. We are committed to the water commons, and resist any threats to it, from whatever source they might come.

Consider thoughtfully these ten water-commons principles. They guide us towards a dedication to continued water stewardship that we stand FOR. The current frenzy of over-building of natural gas wells, holding ponds and pipeline construction right-of-ways are not consistent with these water principles, and represent values, purposes, methods and ends that we stand AGAINST.

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If you find any resonance with this commitment to stand our ground for our water, please share it with your social media contacts, friends, neighbors, churches and organizations. 
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