Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 19-August 2, 2019

For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site.   TMDL reports are available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx.

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates. Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

For other events, please see the “Announcements” posts at the Virginia Water Monitoring Council Web site, http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

7/23/19, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Road in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

7/23/19, 1 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At Brent and Becky’s Bulbs Chesapeake Lounge, 7900 Daffodil Lane in Gloucester.  The meeting will include three public hearings; see details on those meetings below in the Meetings on Special Topics section, under Endangered Species and under Invasive Species.

7/25/19, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  On 7/25/19 at 9 a.m., the Board’s Education and Training Committee meets at the same location.

7/31/19, 8:30 a.m.:  Board of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, Inc., 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

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VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+oth+MTG.  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html. 

None during this period.

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MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site.   TMDL reports are available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx. 

None during this period.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically) 

Agriculture and Forestry

7/22/19, 10 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee/Cover Crop Subcommittee.  At the Virginia Farm Bureau, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.  On 7/24/19 at 9:30 a.m., the Programmatic Subcommittee meets at the Department of Environmental Quality’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).

Endangered Species 

7/23/19, 2:15 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services public hearing on a proposed amendments to Regulations for Enforcement of the Endangered Plant and Insect Act, Section 2 VAC 5-320 et seq. in the Virginia Administrative Code.  At Brent and Becky’s Bulbs Chesapeake Lounge 7900 Daffodil Lane in Gloucester (Gloucester County).

Groundwater

7/22/19, 2 p.m.: Eastern Virginia Groundwater Trading Workgroup.  At Troutman Sanders Building, 15th Floor, 1001 Haxall Point in Richmond.  The 2018 Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 1036, which continued the workgroup for the purposes of assisting the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in carrying out the 2017 recommendation of the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Advisory Committee that an aquifer storage and recovery banking system be developed.  The workgroup is also charged with studying and identifying the components of a groundwater-trading program.

Invasive Species

7/23/19, 2 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services public hearing on a proposed amendments to Regulations for Enforcement of the Noxious Weeds Law, Section 2 VAC 5-317 et seq. in the Virginia Administrative Code.  At Brent and Becky’s Bulbs Chesapeake Lounge 7900 Daffodil Lane in Gloucester (Gloucester County).

7/23/19, 2:30 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services public hearing on establishing the temporary Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine as a permanent quarantine.  At Brent and Becky’s Bulbs Chesapeake Lounge 7900 Daffodil Lane in Gloucester (Gloucester County).

Land and Watershed Management

7/31/19, 9:30 a.m.: Salt Management Strategy (SaMS) – Government Coordination Workgroup.  At the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, 3040 Williams Drive, Suite #200, in Fairfax.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, “This is a notice for the second meeting of the Government Coordination Workgroup, which is tasked with providing recommendations for the Northern Virginia Salt Management Strategy (SaMS) related to government processes and operations.  A chloride TMDL has been developed for the Accotink Creek watershed located in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax.  Additionally, water quality patterns throughout the Northern Virginia region show that the chloride pollution issues observed in the Accotink Creek watershed are not isolated to that watershed, but instead widespread throughout the region.  Therefore, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in partnership with a broad coalition of stakeholders that make up the SaMS Stakeholder Advisory Committee have begun the development of a comprehensive strategy that aims to provide recommendations for more efficient and effective use of salts during winter weather management.”

Ports

7/23/19, 9 a.m.: Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners.  At Virginia International Gateway
1000 Virginia International Gateway Boulevard in Portsmouth.  On 7/22/19 at 101 West Main Street, Suite 600, in Norfolk, the board’s Nominating Committee, Growth and Operations Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, and Executive Committee meet at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5 p.m., respectively.

Resource Management Mapping and Planning

7/24/19, 10 a.m.: Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board.  At the Monroe Building, 101 North 14th Street in Richmond.  VGIN was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1997 to help support the creation, development, and use of geographic information and related technology for state and local government agencies, colleges and universities, and other Commonwealth users of maps and geographic information.  It’s coordinated by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA).  More information is available online at https://www.vita.virginia.gov/integrated-services/vgin-geospatial-services/.

Stormwater

7/30/19, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel on Consolidation of Erosion/Sediment Control Regulations and Stormwater Management Regulations.  At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949 Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  According to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the panel is to “assist the Department of Environmental Quality in the development of regulations to consolidate the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Program and the Virginia Stormwater Management Program and create the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Program.  Chapters 758 and 68 of the 2016 Acts of Assembly (House Bill 1250 and Senate Bill 673) combine the existing Virginia Stormwater Management Act and Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law to create the Virginia Erosion and Stormwater Management Act.  The Department is required to initiate a regulatory action in order for this legislation to become effective.”

Waste Management – Hazardous Waste

7/23/19, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) training on the hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule.  At the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge.
The training session on the rule will be repeated as follows (times are the same as the July 23 meeting):
7/25/19, at the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge;
7/30/19, at the DEQ Blue Ridge Regional Office, 901 Russell Drive, Salem;
8/1/19, at the Virginia Credit Union, 7500 Boulder View Drive in Richmond;
8/8/19, at the DEQ Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Boulevard in Virginia Beach;
8/15/19, at the DEQ Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Road in Harrisonburg.

Previous meetings were as follows:
7/9/19 in Salem;
7/11/19 in Richmond;
7/16/19 in Abingdon;
7/18/19 in Virginia Beach.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards

8/1/19, 10 a.m.:  Department of Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Committee meeting on amendment and reissuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Seafood Processing Facilities.  At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-115.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on February 18, 2019.  More information on the proposed action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2113.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 7-15-19: A Water-focused Perspective on the Moon, 50 Years After the First Human Landing

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of July 15, 2019, is “The Moon and Water.”  The 5 min./11 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/07/episode-481-7-15-19-moon-and-water.html, recalls the first moon landing in 1969 and examines the importance of water in space exploration and the moon’s importance to earth’s water.  This revised repeat of an episode in July 2015 includes music by Bob Gramann of Fredericksburg, Va.

full-moon-apollo-11-july-19-1969Full moon photographed on July 21, 1969, by Apollo 11 astronauts on their return to Earth after the first moon landing. Image courtesy of NASA, accessed online at http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/apollo/apollo11/html/as11_44_6667.html, 7/17/15.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for July 12-July 26, 2019

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates. Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

For other events, please see the “Announcements” posts at the Virginia Water Monitoring Council Web site, http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF STATEWIDE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

7/12/19, 1 p.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation’s Scenic Resources Subcommittee.  At the Department of Conservation and Recreation main office, 600 East Main Street in Richmond.

7/16/19, 9 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  At the Russell County Office Building, 139 Highland Drive in Lebanon.

7/23/19, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Road in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

7/25/19, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  On 7/25/19 at 9 a.m., the Board’s Education and Training Committee meets at the same location.

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VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+oth+MTG.  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at http://dls.virginia.gov/commissions.html.

None during this period.

*          *          *

MEETINGS ABOUT TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS (or TMDLs) for IMPAIRED WATERS

For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site.   TMDL reports are available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx.

CANCELED7/12/19, 4:30 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the Mattaponi River and the following tributaries: Brock Run, Chapel Creek, Doctors Creek, Glady Run, Maracossic Creek, Mat River, Matta River, Mattaponi River, Motto River, Po River, Polecat Creek, Poni River, Reedy Creek, and Root Swamp, all located in the York River watershed in Caroline, King and Queen, King William, Orange, and Spotsylvania Counties.  At Bowling Green Town Hall, 117 Butler Street
in Bowling Green (Caroline County).

7/16/19, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the McClure River and tributaries Big Spraddle Branch, Buffalo Creek, and Roaring Fork, all in the Pound River/Russell Fork/Big Sandy River watershed in Dickenson County.  At the McClure Kiwanis Building, at the intersection of State Route 63 (Dante Mountain Road) and State Route 773 (Herndon Road) in Dickenson County.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically) 

Agriculture and Forestry

7/22/19, 10 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee/Cover Crop Subcommittee.  At the Virginia Farm Bureau, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.  On 7/24/19 at 9:30 a.m., the Programmatic Subcommittee meets at the Department of Environmental Quality’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).

Groundwater

7/22/19, 2 p.m.: Eastern Virginia Groundwater Trading Workgroup.  At Troutman Sanders Building, 15th Floor, 1001 Haxall Point in Richmond.  The 2018 Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 1036, which continued the workgroup for the purposes of assisting the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in carrying out the 2017 recommendation of the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Advisory Committee that an aquifer storage and recovery banking system be developed.  The workgroup is also charged with studying and identifying the components of a groundwater-trading program.

Invasive Species

7/23/19, 2 p.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services public hearing on a proposed amendments to Regulations for Enforcement of the Noxious Weeds Law, Section 2 VAC 5-317 et seq. in the Virginia Administrative Code.

Resource Management Mapping and Planning

7/24/19, 10 a.m.: Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board.  At the Monroe Building, 101 North 14th Street in Richmond.  VGIN was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1997 to help support the creation, development, and use of geographic information and related technology for state and local government agencies, colleges and universities, and other Commonwealth users of maps and geographic information.  It’s coordinated by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA).  More information is available online at https://www.vita.virginia.gov/integrated-services/vgin-geospatial-services/.

Ports

7/23/19, 9 a.m.: Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners.  At Virginia International Gateway
1000 Virginia International Gateway Boulevard in Portsmouth.  On 7/22/19 at 101 West Main Street, Suite 600, in Norfolk, the board’s Nominating Committee, Growth and Operations Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, and Executive Committee meet at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5 p.m., respectively

Professionals Licensing and Operations

7/12/19, 10 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects public hearing on a general review of regulations.  At the Virginia Commonwealth Conference Center, Board Room 3, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

Waste Management – Hazardous Waste

7/16/19, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) training on the hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule.  At the DEQ Southwest Regional Office, 355 Deadmore Street in Abingdon.  The training session on the rule will be repeated as follows (times are the same as the July 16 meeting):
7/18/19, at the DEQ Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Boulevard in Virginia Beach;
7/23/19, at DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge;
7/25/19, at the DEQ Northern Regional Office, 13901 Crown Court in Woodbridge;
7/30/19, at the DEQ Blue Ridge Regional Office, 901 Russell Drive, Salem;
8/1/19, at the Virginia Credit Union, 7500 Boulder View Drive in Richmond;
8/8/19, at the DEQ Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Boulevard in Virginia Beach;
8/15/19, at the DEQ Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Road in Harrisonburg.

Previous meetings were as follows:
7/9/19 in Salem;
7/11/19 in Richmond.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards

7/18/19, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) technical advisory committee meeting on the proposed amendment and reissuance of the Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) general permit for poultry waste management (9 VAC 25-630 in the Virginia Administrative Code).  At the Virginia Farm Bureau, Auditorium, 12580 West Creek Parkway in Richmond.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-630.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action appeared in the Virginia Register of Regulations on October 1, 2018.  More information on the proposal is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewAction.cfm?actionid=5118.

Wetlands

7/16/19, 6 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) information briefing and public hearing on a draft Virginia Water Protection (VWP) permit for the City of Alexandria Potomac Yard Metrorail Station project, authorizing impacts on wetlands in the city.  At Oswald Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street in Alexandria.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, the “project is located east of Potomac Avenue, west of George Washington Memorial Parkway, and north of Potomac Greens Drive in City of Alexandria, Virginia.  The permit will allow the applicant to fill surface waters consisting of wetlands.  The proposed activity would permanently affect 0.92 acre of palustrine forested wetland (PFO) and 0.64 acre of palustrine emergent wetland (PEM), and would temporarily affect 1.10 acres of PFO and 0.91 acre of PEM. …To compensate for the affected area, the applicant would purchase 4.96 wetland credits for permanent impacts and 1.10 wetland credits for temporary impacts.  DEQ’s preliminary decision is to recommend issuance to the State Water Control Board.”

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 7-8-19: Rethinking Water Cycle Diagrams

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of July 8, 2019, is “Rethinking Water Cycle Diagrams.”  The 4 min./53 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/07/episode-480-7-8-19-rethinking-water.html, examines some of the findings of a July  2019 research paper comparing scientific understandings of water-cycle components to the way that cycle is often shown in diagrams used by educators and policy-makers.  One key point made by the researchers (representing research institutions–including Virginia Tech–in the United States and six other countries) is that water-cycle diagrams typically omit the interaction of humans with the cycle.

480 Image 4 USGS for adultsOne example of a water cycle diagram.  From the U.S. Geological Survey, “Water Science School/The Fundamentals of the Water Cycle,” online at https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/fundamentals-water-cycle.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

Virginia Water Status Report as of the end of June 2019, Plus a Look at Flooding and Drought Nationally

Here is the Virginia Water Central News Grouper’s monthly water-status report on precipitation, stream flow, and drought, as of end of June 2019.  The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing the data and maps used in this post.  Icons for precipitation, stream flow, and drought are by George Wills of Blacksburg, Va. (https://www.etsy.com/people/BlacksburgArt).  For previous monthly water status reports, please see this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water+Status.

Water status icon precipitation by George Wills

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for June 2019 at 12 Virginia or near-Virginia locations, along with the “normal” (three-decade average) for this month of the year at each location.  Also shown are the precipitation totals at each location for the previous 12 months and the annual precipitation normals for each location.  The values are in inches.

Location June

2019 Observed

Monthly Normal July 2018-

June 2019 Observed

Annual Normal
Blacksburg 5.39 4.00 52.24 40.89
Bluefield1 2.82 4.14 50.69 39.63
Bristol2 7.67 3.90 59.60 41.01
Charlottesville3 3.81 3.73 55.07 42.71
Danville 4.74 3.85 66.02 44.41
Lynchburg 3.79 3.62 57.08 41.57
Norfolk 3.85 4.26 53.10 46.53
Reagan Washington National Airport4 4.27 3.78 63.40 39.74
Richmond 5.14 3.93 52.92 43.60
Roanoke 5.53 3.83 58.66 41.25
Wallops Island5 1.80 3.29 47.92 40.84
Washington-Dulles Airport6 2.44 3.98 64.25 41.54

Location notes
1 – The Bluefield location is the Mercer County, W. Va., airport, near the Va.-W.Va. state line.
2- The Bristol location is the Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va./Tenn.
3 – The Charlottesville location is the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
4 – Reagan National Airport is in Arlington County.
5 – Wallops Island is in Accomack County.
6 – Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

Precipitation sources:  Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va. (https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk);
Morristown, Tenn. (https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx);
Baltimore-Washington (https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx); and
Wakefield, Va. (https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=akq).

The normal values used by the National Weather Service (NWS) in these provisional reports are based on the period from 1981 to 2010.  The National Climatic Data Center released these normal values in July 2011.  For information on the normal values, see the National Climatic Data Center Web page at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/land-based-station-data/land-based-datasets/climate-normals.

For graphs of precipitation, visit the High Plains Regional Climate Center at https://hprcc.unl.edu/maps.php?map=ACISClimateMaps), where you can find maps of total precipitation and percent of normal precipitation for the past 7, 30, 60, or 90 days for all U.S. regions; or the NWS’ Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service at http://water.weather.gov/precip/ for a map of precipitation nationwide or by state, with capability to show county boundaries, and archives available for specific days, months, or years.  Shown below are the preliminary maps of the percent-of-normal precipitation for the southeastern United States for the previous 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, and for Virginia for the previous 30 days, all through June 30, 2019.

PrecippercSE30June30PrecippercSE60June30PrecippercSE90June30PrecippercVA30June30 

Water status icon stream flow by George Wills
According to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch for Virginia (online at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=mv01d&r=va&w=map), monthly average stream flow values for June 2019 at 154 stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border were as follows, compared to the historical range for each given gage:

within the normal historical range – about 47% of gages;
below normal – about 3% of gages;
above normal – about 27% of gages;
much above normal (or higher) – about 23% of gages.

Shown below is the color-coded, flow-percentile map for this period, accessed at the online site given in the paragraph above.  The chart below the map shows the color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compared flows to historical records for the month.

Streams Map June KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

An overall look at Virginia streamflow conditions is provided in the USGS WaterWatch summary plot of daily average streamflow conditions, compared to historical records for any given date.  Below is the summary plot for 88 Virginia sites during the 45-day period ending June 30, 2019, accessed on July 3 at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.

Streams Plot Jul3

NATIONWIDE FLOODING OVERVIEW

Following is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for the continental United States, as of about 11 a.m. EDT on July 3, 2019.  The current map is available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flooding US Jul3

Water status icons groundwater by George Wills
Information on current groundwater levels in Virginia monitoring wells is available from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Information System, online at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/current/?type=gw; and from the USGS Climate Response Network, online at http://groundwaterwatch.usgs.gov/net/ogwnetwork.asp?ncd=crn (at that page, you can find a national map showing the status of groundwater monitoring wells compared to historical values).

Water status icon drought watch by George WillsDROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) for June 25, 2019, categorized 0.03% of Virginia as abnormally dry.

Drought Monitor categories are as follows:
D0 = abnormally dry;
D1 = moderate drought;
D2 = severe drought;
D3 = extreme drought;
D4 = exceptional drought.

The Drought Monitor notes that it “focuses on broad-scale conditions [and] local conditions may vary.”

For comparison, here are Virginia ratings from previous Drought Monitors from about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:
5/28/19 – 14.3% abnormally dry.
4/30/19 – drought-free;
3/26/19 – drought-free;
6/26/18 – 0.01% abnormally dry.

On June 13, 2019, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report.  A link to the most recent DMTF report, along with other current drought-status information, is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.  The DMTF’s reports typically include information from some or all of the following agencies: University of Virginia Climatology Office, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Virginia departments of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Health, and Environmental Quality.

Following is the summary from the June 13 report, and a map identifying the Drought Evaluation Regions used by the DMTF.

“The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF) met on Thursday, June 13, 2019, to discuss the status of drought monitoring and hydrologic conditions in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Significant rainfall over the past week erased the abnormally dry conditions that had spread across parts of southern and western Virginia during May.  With the recent rain events, precipitation across Virginia remained above normal levels for the current water year.  Consequently, groundwater levels and reservoir levels are above normal to well above normal.  Streamflows are at normal to above-normal levels across nearly the entire Commonwealth. High base flows in the streams (due to higher than normal groundwater levels) are directly related to above normal rainfall over recent months.  Hydrologic conditions, both currently and over the recent past, indicate little likelihood for hydrologic drought during the upcoming summer and fall months.  Variations in rainfall during these months, however, could result in rainfall deficits that can affect crop resources (agricultural drought).”
Drought Evaluation Regions

The DMTF also produces a map rating drought-status indicators, also online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought/CurrentDroughtConditionsMap.aspx.  Shown below is the map for June 30, 2019.  The status-indicator abbreviations on that map are as follows: GW = groundwater levels, Prcp = precipitation deficits, Res – reservoir storage, and Flow = stream flow conditions.  For each region of Virginia, the indicators are color coded for “normal,” “watch,” “warning,” or “emergency conditions.”

Drought VA Jun30DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The June 25, 2019, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 10.6% of the United States (including parts of 23 states plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse.  The Drought Monitor categorized about 0.8% of the country (including parts of 6 states plus Puerto Rico), as being in severe drought or worse (categories D2, D3, and D4).  (The highest percentage in the severe-or-worse categories reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000 was 38.5% of the country for the week of August 7, 2012.)

The nationwide percentages for abnormally dry or worse (categories D0-D4) and severe or worse (categories D2-D4) in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:
5/28/19 – 11.3% abnormally dry or worse; 0.3% severe drought or worse;
4/30/19 – 10.4% abnormally dry or worse; 0.5% severe drought or worse;
3/26/19 – 16.5% abnormally dry or worse; 1.0% severe drought or worse;
6/26/18 – 41.8% abnormally dry or worse; 13.3% severe drought or worse.

90-DAY DROUGHT OUTLOOK

For a look ahead, the National Weather Service/Climate Prediction Center’s “U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook” is available at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.php.  Shown below is the outlook map available on July 3, 2019.

Drought Outlook US June20

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 7-1-19: Delving into the Dismal Swamp

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of July 1, 2019, is “Exploring the Great Dismal Swamp.”  The 5 min./9 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/07/episode-479-7-1-19-exploring-great.html, this large area of water, wetlands, wildlife, and human history in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.

479 Image 3 Lake Drummond and trees Apr30 2005Lake Drummond, one of Virginia’s two natural lakes, in the Great Dismal Swamp, April 30, 2005.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 6-24-19: Little Blue Heron

Virginia Water Radio’s latest episode, for the week of June 24, 2019, is “The Little Blue Heron Starts Out White.”  The 3 min./44 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2019/06/episode-478-6-24-19-little-blue-heron.html, focuses on a summertime resident in Virginia’s Coastal Plain that’s distinctive among the heron family for the change in feather color from juvenile to adult.

478 image 2 USFWSLittle Blue Heron in Florida, date not identified.  Photo by Lee Karney, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov, accessed 6-24-19; specific URL for the photo is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/17739/rec/3.

Virginia Water Radio’s is a weekly broadcast/podcast produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center.  The home page is http://www.virginiawaterradio.org.  Have a listen or two!