On August 14, 2012, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a “drought warning” advisory for the Appomattox Basin, including the following localities: the counties of Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward, and Prince George; the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg; and the towns of Appomattox, Blackstone, Burkeville, Crewe, and Farmville. The DEQ had issued a drought “watch” for the basin on July 26. Also on August 14, the DEQ issued a drought watch advisory for the northern Piedmont and the Roanoke River basin. The Piedmont localities include the counties of Greene, Madison, Rappahannock, Orange, Culpeper, Louisa, Spotsylvania and Stafford; the city of Fredericksburg; and the towns of Culpeper, Gordonsville, Louisa, Mineral, Madison, Orange, Stanardsville, and Washington. The Roanoke basin localities include the counties of Patrick, Franklin, Roanoke, Henry, Bedford, Pittsylvania, Campbell, Halifax, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg; the cities of Bedford, Danville, Martinsville, Salem, and Roanoke; and the towns of Altavista, Brookneal, Charlotte Court House, Drakes Branch, Keysville, Phenix, Boones Mill, Rocky Mount, Halifax, Scottsburg, South Boston, Virgilina, Ridgeway, Boydton, Broadnax, Chase City, Clarksville, La Crosse, South Hill, Stuart, Chatham, Gretna, Hurt, and Vinton. According to the DEQ, “drought warning responses are required when the onset of a significant drought event is imminent. Water conservation and contingency plans that were prepared during the drought watch stage should be implemented. Water conservation activities at this stage generally are voluntary, but this does not preclude localities issuing mandatory restrictions if appropriate.” A drought watch advisory is issued to “increase awareness of conditions that are likely to precede a significant drought event and to facilitate preparation for a drought.” The DEQ’s drought-monitoring Web page is at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.
Sources: Virginia issues ‘drought watch’ advisory for Appomattox River basin, Virginia DEQ News Release, 7/26/12; and Conditions in Appomattox River basin lead to ‘drought warning’ status, Virginia DEQ News Release, 8/14/12