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Coleman seeks water dialogue

Carrboro Alderman Dan Coleman wants to make sure there is an adequate local water supply for growth until OWASA's Quarry Reservoir comes online in 2035. 

The Board of Aldermen and Chapel Hill Town Council want Jordan Lake used for future emergencies only. OWASA, which wants its Jordan Lake allocation available for future droughts that may not rise to the level of an emergency, wants to amend a local agreement to allow easier water transfers.

In an e-mail to his fellow board members, Coleman says:

1) I believe that we should engage with OWASA and Chapel Hill to look at growth between now and the availability of the quarry 20 years hence. I suggest that we ask planning staff to meet with CH planning and OWASA planning to look at the OWASA water supply projection so as to comment on whether any particular planning for growth in the interim might be warranted to ensure that adequate water supplies continue to be available.
2) given that we have asserted that we support access to J Lake only as an emergency measure and given that OWASA is concerned that we might lose the allocation on that basis, I suggest we engage actively in support of that point. What I have in mind is that we and CH each designate a point person on this issue. Those people would become fully informed on the allocation process and stay in touch with OWASA as matters progress. It may be that, at some point, it would be helpful to have contact from elected leaders to the members of the Environmental Management Commission (decision-makers on the allocation) and I would like us to be prepared for that eventuality. Clearly, it would be more effective for the mayors to play any lobbying role but they do not necessarily need to be the point people prior to that time.


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