Threatened Sensitive Joint Vetch as found in area of proposed KWR Intake on Mattaponi River, further endangered by King William Reservoir Project
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News Release

Contact: Glen Besa 804-387-6001
For Immediate Release
May 26, 2009

KWR Reservoir Opponents Release Survey Report of Alternatives

The Sierra Club and the Alliance to Save the Mattaponi today released a report that outlines potential alternatives to the controversial King William Reservoir project. The report, A Survey of Sustainable Water Supplies in Virginia’s Lower Peninsula- Alternatives to the King William Reservoir Project, was prepared by Environmental Stewardship Concepts, a Richmond based consulting firm.

“With the federal court’s recent decision holding that the Corps of Engineers had failed to adequately consider alternatives to the reservoir, Sierra Club and the Alliance commissioned the report to insure that all the reasonable alternatives were put back on the table,” said Dr. Peter deFur, President of Environmental Stewardship Concepts.

“Newport News views the reservoir as a silver bullet to their future water needs, but it’s more like the proverbial $400 Department of Defense toilet seat,” said Glen Besa, Director of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club. “As the report points out there are a variety of approaches which grouped together can be scaled to meet Newport News future water needs as those needs arise.”

“The Corps and Newport News have an obligation to seriously consider reservoir alternatives many of which could be implemented at considerably less cost to waterworks customers and far less harm to the environment,” said Kelly Place, Co-Chair of the Alliance to Save the Mattaponi.

The report notes that water efficiency and conservation are the most cost effective measures to accommodate future water needs. As a result of federal efficiency standards for showers, faucets, toilets and washing machines, water use has actually declined slightly since 1990 at the same time that the customers served increased from 340,000 to 400,000. More efficient use of potable water for landscaping and irrigation as well as reusing treated waste water for such purposes has resulted in significant water savings in other jurisdictions.

Other alternatives suggested include reactivation of the Big Bethel and Jones Pond reservoirs that had previously been operated by the military. These two reservoirs could add over 2 million gallons per day. Desalination is also considered in the report which notes that there are already five desalination plants in operation in the Tidewater region.

“The court has done Waterworks customers a great favor by halting this project. Now its time for public officials on the peninsula to get serious about considering reasonable alternatives to the reservoir,” said Besa.



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