Column: County drought plan improves, but leaves unanswered questions
Column: County drought plan improves, but leaves unanswered questions.
But questions remain as to the supply and equitable distribution of water in the event of a severe drought.
The county’s thousands of individual groundwater wells are addressed for the first time, although not in great detail.
The plan sets priorities for water use, and establishes communication and response protocols when drought conditions emerge.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF) continue to serve important roles.
The designation of three drought stages — watch, warning, and emergency — remain in effect from the county’s 2011 Water Supply Plan.
Since precipitation can be unevenly distributed, other yardsticks are also employed.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Management will co-ordinate the highly regimented response effort.
Some Fauquier residents may be surprised to learn that the county was technically not in drought this past year, despite noticeably dry conditions.
Virginia has in fact not issued any state-wide drought advisories, although Fauquier is by far the most stressed county, with its precipitation deficit at the emergency stage according to the DEQ.