Committed to Conservation
To ensure that James City County has enough water to meet current and future needs, the JCSA is committed to water conservation. Our Water Conservation Office, JCSA staff, and the citizen-based Water Conservation Committee work together to raise the public's awareness of the need for conservation, promote conservation programs, educate citizens on how to conserve, and advise the Board of Supervisors on water supply and demand issues.
In spring 2001 we launched "Let's be Water Smart," a public/private initiative of the JCSA to promote responsible water usage in James City County. For more information on "Let's be Water Smart," click on www.jamescitycountyva.gov/bewatersmart. We also participate in the askHRgreen.org: Water Awareness Subcommittee, a regional organization representing all water purveyors in the Hampton Roads area.
Why should we conserve water?
Next to air, water is our most precious resource. Just one percent of the entire water supply in the world is available for people to use. The rest is in the oceans, ice caps, and glaciers. Of that one percent, we drink very little. Most goes on lawns, in washing machines, and down toilets and drains.
Although water is a renewable resource, changing climate conditions, population growth, and wasteful use threaten water supplies all around the world. James City County is no different. We use groundwater, pumped from the Potomac and Chickahominy-Piney Aquifers, which also supply water for individual well owners and communities throughout the region. The JCSA provides the water for approximately three-fourths of County's residents. The rest have private wells that draw from the aquifers.
Aquifer--a geologic formation(s) that is water bearing. A geological formation or structure that stores and/or transmits water, such as to wells and springs. (USGS Water Science for Schools)
Supply & Demand
As the County grows, so does the demand for water. Between 1990 and 1999, JCC's population grew 33.5 percent, from 36,309 to 48,475. To meet that growth, JCSA's groundwater withdrawal increased from 600 million gallons per year to over 1 billion - a 50 percent increase. By 2010, we expect our population to grow another 40 percent, and the need for water will also increase. (Figures from JCC 1997 Comprehensive Plan, Tables P-1 and P2).
Our water supply plan accounts for this growth. For example, we increased our water storage capacity by one million gallons when the Ironbound Water Storage Facility became operational in May 2003. The increased storage allows the JCSA to purchase water from Newport News Water Works if needed and better manage our water supply to meet customer demand.
The Five Forks Water Treatment Facility became operational in early 2005. The Facility produces up to 5.0 million gallons per day (mgd). The Facility withdraws water from the Middle and Lower Potomac Aquifers, reducing demand on the Chickahominy Piney-Point Aquifer.
Managing Water Demand During Peak Season
Our biggest challenge is managing water demand during the hot summer months, when the demand for water for lawn irrigation can strain our system. May to September is "peak season," when customers used an average of 60 percent more water on a daily basis than during the winter months. While our system is equipped to meet these demand levels for short periods of time, prolonged high demand increases the chance of a well facility failure, which in turn compromises our ability to provide water for basic needs like drinking, washing, and firefighting.
- Conservation at home is easy!
- Lawn Care & Irrigation
- Backyard Conservation and BayScapes
- Other Helpful Websites - Visit these sites for more information on indoor and outdoor conservation