As of mid-July 2012, Henrico County was working to acquire the 1500 acres needed for the planned Cobbs Creek Reservoir project in Cumberland County. The $280-million project, which will use James River water, is the result of a 2010 agreement among Cumberland, Henrico, and Powhatan County. Under the agreement, Henrico will own the reservoir and will pay Cumberland (which originally started the reservoir planning and asked Henrico and Powhatan to be partners) $1.55 million for previously incurred design costs and $56.6 million over 50 years in lieu of property taxes, while Cumberland and Powhatan will buy water from Henrico. As of late July, Powhatan County had not yet signed a memorandum of understanding that would constitute formal agreement to the arrangement. Three county supervisors elected in 2011 and a county administrator appointed in 2012 all wished to review the 2010 agreement. Powhatan and Henrico officials were to meet on July 23 to discuss that agreement. Construction of the 1,110-acre reservoir (with 400 acres of land around it)—to be formed by two dams—is expected to be completed in 2019, with two more years needed to fill it with water pumped from the James River. When operational, the reservoir will be allowed to release up to 100 million gallons a day (MGD), with 30 million allocated to Henrico, 10 MGD to Powhatan, 7 MGD to Cumberland, and 53 MGD for water-flow needs in the James.
Sources: New reservoir a decade away for Henrico, but work is fast-paced, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/15/12; and Powhatan’s partnership in regional reservoir isn’t official yet, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/23/12.