Virginia Water-related Public Meetings for September 23 – October 8, 2021

Click on underlined meeting dates or times for more information.  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, https://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/announcements/.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF AUTHORITIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEES, AND COUNCILS

9/23/21, 9 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Audit Subcommittee9/23/21, 10 a.m.: full Board.  Both meetings at Drury Plaza Hotel Richmond, 11049 West Broad Street in Glen Allen (Henrico County).

9/28/21, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Road in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

9/28/21, 2 p.m.: State Water Control Board.  At Radford University, Kyle Hall, Howe Street in Radford.

9/29/21, 10 a.m.: Plastic Waste Prevention Advisory Council.  At the Department of Environmental Quality Training Room (14th floor), 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.

10/8/21, 10:30 a.m.: Waste Management Board.  At the Bank of America Building, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.

*          *          *

VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of the General Assembly, legislative committees, and legislative commissions, see https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?213+oth+MTG (as of 9-14-21).  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.  The Virginia General Assembly Web site is https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

10/4/21, 3 p.m.: Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding.  At the Capitol Building, Senate Room 3, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.  This subcommittee was continued and renamed by the 2016 Virginia General Assembly.  That year, the Assembly passed HJ 84 and SJ 58, companion bills that called for the continuation of a joint subcommittee, first established in 2014 (HJR 16 and SJR 3), to develop recommendations for a comprehensive and coordinated planning effort to address recurrent flooding in Virginia’s Tidewater and Eastern Shore regions.  The action in 2014 followed a report by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), “Recurrent Flooding Study for Tidewater Virginia,” published as Senate Document 3 in 2013.  Information on the work of this subcommittee is available from the Division of Legislative Services, online at http://dls.virginia.gov/interim_studies_flooding.html.

*          *          *

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

For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Development Web site.  There are links at that site to search for draft and approved TMDLs.

10/7/21, 1 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in Beaverdam Creek, Fryingpan Creek, Pigg River, and Poplar Branch in Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania counties, in the Roanoke River watershed.  At Waid Park (large pavilion), 701 Waid Park Road in Rocky Mount (Franklin County).

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Agriculture/Forestry

Meetings of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Agricultural Best Management Practices Cost-share Program Technical Advisory Committee.

10/4/21, 10 a.m.: Animal Waste Subcommittee.  At the Augusta County Government Center Smith, 18 Government Center Lane in Verona.

Flooding – Coastal

Meetings of the Secretary of Natural Resources’ Technical Advisory Committee on the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework

9/27/21, 5 p.m.: Community meeting.  At Corporate Landing Middle School, 1597 Corporate Landing Parkway in Virginia Beach.

10/5/21, 5 p.m.: Community meeting.  At Thomas Nelson Community College, Peninsula Workforce Development Center, 600 Butler Farm Road in Hampton.

Mining

9/23/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal hearing on Notice of Violation #GWS0012933 for Burning Knob Resources, Inc.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  The mine site or sites is not identified in the Regulatory Town Hall notice.

10/6/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) assessment conference to the civil penalty assessment of Clintwood JOD, LLC, for Notice of Violation #RSY0010178 SS.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  The mine site or sites is not identified in the Regulatory Town Hall notice.

Ports

9/27/21 and 9/28/21: Virginia Port Authority meetings:
9/27/21, 12:30 p.m.: Investment Committee;
9/27/21, 1:30 p.m.: Finance and Audit Committee;
9/27/21, 3:30 p.m.: Growth and Operations Committee;
9/27/21, 5:30 p.m.: Executive Committee;
9/28/21, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners.
All meetings at the VPA offices, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Water Protection Permits

9/27/21, 6 p.m., at Pigg River Community Center, 2410 South Main Street in Rocky Mount (Franklin County); and 9/28/21, 6 p.m., at Radford University, Kyle Hall, Howe Street in Radford: State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality public hearings on a proposed Virginia Water Protection permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, for the Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas project.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notices for these meetings, the draft permit would “allow the filling of wetlands and streams in Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania Counties, Virginia;  [and meet] the Board’s intent to provide Section 401 Water Quality Certification for activities authorized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  …The project is a 42-inch natural gas pipeline located along an approximate 107-mile-long corridor from the Virginia-West Virginia state line in Giles County southeast through Craig County, Montgomery County, Roanoke County, Franklin County, and Pittsylvania County to the Transco Village (located approximately three miles east of Chatham, Virginia)…. The proposed activity would permanently affect 1.19 acres of palustrine forested wetland, 0.76 of an acre of palustrine scrub-shrub wetland (PSS), 0.04 of an acre of palustrine emergent wetland, and 63 linear feet of streams.  The proposed activity would temporarily affect 3.91 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands and 17,065 linear feet of streams.  The activity proposed in the permit will affect surface waters in the Middle New, Upper James, Upper Roanoke and Banister watersheds.  To compensate for the surface waters affected, the applicant would provide 7.114 wetland mitigation credits and 298 stream mitigation credits, and restore temporarily impacted areas to their original condition.  The State Water Control Board’s preliminary decision is to issue the permit.”  The public comment period run August 28, 2021 to October 27, 2021.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards

10/7/21, 1 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on proposed Water Quality Management Planning Regulation Amendments for nitrogen and phosphorus waste load allocations to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is Section 9 VAC 25-720.  The public comment period is August 30—October 29, 2021.  More information on this regulatory process is available online at https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=5393&display=stages.

Water Supply Planning

9/30/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel on Local and Regional Water Supply Planning Regulation Amendments.  At the Bank of America Building, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for the 9/30/21 meeting, House Bill 542 in the 2020 Virginia General Assembly “amended section 62.1-44.38:1 of the Code of Virginia to direct the State Water Control Board to adopt regulations designating regional planning areas based primarily on river basins, to identify the particular regional planning area in which each locality shall participate, and to identify which local stakeholder groups shall or may participate in coordinated water resource planning.  The amendments also require each locality to participate in cross-jurisdictional coordinated water resources planning.  Each regional planning area will be required to submit a singly jointly produced regional water supply plan, which shall clearly identify the region’s water supply risks, propose cost effective regional strategies to address these risks, and comply with all other applicable criteria and guidelines developed by the Board.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on June 7, 2021.”

Waterworks/Drinking Water Regulations

9/24/21, 1:30 p.m.: Department Of Health Workgroup on PFAS Contamination in Drinking Water/Toxicology Subgroup.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://vdhoep.webex.com/vdhoep/j.php?MTID=m54010f07c0b5f8efaf041ea6d9087833, access code: 2632 567 1874, password: QQxRiaif368; or dial in to (844) 992-4726.  The 2020 Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 586, which called for a work group to develop a course of action to determine current levels of PFAS contamination in public drinking water in the Commonwealth, identify possible sources of such contamination, and evaluate approaches to regulate PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water.  Following is the Virginia Legislative Information System summary of HB 586: “Direct the Commissioner of Health to convene a work group to study the occurrence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorobutyrate (PFBA), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and other perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as deemed necessary, in the Commonwealth’s public drinking water and to develop recommendations for specific maximum contaminant levels for PFOA, PFOS, PFBA, PFHpA, PFHxS, PFNA, and other PFAS, as deemed necessary, for inclusion in regulations of the Board of Health applicable to waterworks.”

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 9-20-21: Water’s in the Bones

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of September 20, 2021, is “Water and the Human Skeleton.”  The 4 min./40 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/09/episode-595-9-20-21-water-and-human.html, focuses on the functions of the skeleton and water’s role as a constituent of bone and other skeletal materials. The episode features music by John McCutcheon. This revised version of an episode from October 2015 is part of a series of episodes in fall 2021 on water connections to the human body and human biology.

Structure of human long bones (bones that are longer than they are wide).  Illustration from National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, SEER Training Module, “Skeletal System/Classification of Bones,” online at https://training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/skeletal/.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

vwr_header

Virginia Water-related Public Meetings for September 16 – October 1, 2021

Click on underlined meeting dates or times for more information.  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, https://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/announcements/.

REGULAR MEETINGS OF AUTHORITIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEES, AND COUNCILS

9/16/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Invasive Species Work Group.  At Powhatan Banquet Hall, Pocahontas State Park, 10301 State Park Road in Chesterfield (Chesterfield County).

9/17/21, 1 p.m.: Council on Environmental Justice/Emerging Issues Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/qejsu; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code: 2420 756 2299.

9/21/21, 9 a.m.: Marine Products Board.  At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 1375 Greate Road in
Gloucester Point (Gloucester County).

9/21/21, 4 p.m.: Marine Resources Commission’s Aquaculture Management Advisory Committee.  At the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 1375 Greate Road in Gloucester Point (Gloucester County).

CANCELED9/22/21, 10 a.m.: Offshore Wind Development Authority.  At Libbie Mill-Henrico County Public Library, 2100 Libbie Lake E Street in Richmond.  Click on the meeting date for information about electronic access.

9/23/21, 9 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Audit Subcommittee9/23/21, 10 a.m.: full Board.  Both meetings at Drury Plaza Hotel Richmond, 11049 West Broad Street in Glen Allen (Henrico County).

9/28/21, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Road in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

9/28/21, 2 p.m.: State Water Control Board.  At Radford University, Kyle Hall, Howe Street in Radford.

*          *          *

VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY WATER-RELATED MEETINGS

For meetings of the General Assembly, legislative committees, and legislative commissions, see https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?213+oth+MTG (as of 9-14-21).  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.  The Virginia General Assembly Web site is https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

None during this period.

*          *          *

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

For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Development Web site.  There are links at that site to search for draft and approved TMDLs.

None during this period.

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Flooding – Coastal

Meetings of the Secretary of Natural Resources’ Technical Advisory Committee on the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework
9/17/21, 10 a.m.: Outreach Subcommittee.  At 1111 East Broad Street, Conference Room 1, in Richmond.
9/20/21, 5 p.m.: Community meeting.  At Hampton Roads Community Action Project (HRCAP), 2410 Wickham Avenue in Newport News.
9/21/21, 5 p.m.: Community meeting.  At Hampton Roads Community Action Project (HRCAP), 1919 Commerce Drive in Hampton.
9/22/21, 1 p.m.: Federal Installation Partnerships Subcommittee.  At the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, 723 Woodlake Drive in Chesapeake.
9/27/21, 5 p.m.: Community meeting.  At Corporate Landing Middle School, 1597 Corporate Landing Parkway in Virginia Beach.

Fort Monroe

9/16/21, 1 p.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees.  At Fort Monroe Theatre
42 Tidball Road in Fort Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton.  In 2011, the Virginia General Assembly (Senate Bill 1400) established the Fort Monroe Authority to manage the historic areas of Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort—at the confluence of Hampton Roads with the Chesapeake Bay—after the federal government closed its military facilities there.  Fort Monroe had been a U.S. military base since 1836.  In 2011, the area was designated as Fort Monroe National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/fomr/index.htm).  More information about Fort Monroe and the Authority is available online at http://www.fmauthority.com/.

Infrastructure – Wastewater

9/22/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Health’s Wastewater Infrastructure Policy Working Group/Western Region Roundtable.  At Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, 347 Campbell Avenue, SW, in Roanoke.  Electronic access online at https://vdhoep.webex.com/vdhoep/j.php?MTID=m3e5e1d771c3f913c372a8487d6d0b241.

This Working Group is tasked with assessing the wastewater infrastructure needs in the Commonwealth and developing policy recommendations.

Mining or Mined Land Reclamation

9/23/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) informal hearing on Notice of Violation #GWS0012933 for Burning Knob Resources, Inc.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).  The mine site or sites is not identified in the Regulatory Town Hall notice.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions

9/22/21, 1 p.m.: Rappahannock River Basin Commission.  At Graves Mountain Lodge in Madison County.  Meeting information online at https://rrbcnews.wordpress.com/meetings-events/.  The Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly (see Va. Code section 62.1-69.27) to “provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin.”  More information on the work of the Commission is available online at http://rappriverbasin.org/.

Scenic Rivers

9/16/21, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At Richmond City Hall, 900 East Broad Street.

Waste Management – Solid Waste

9/22/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Nonhazardous Solid Waste Fee Study Working Group.  At the Bank of America Building, 3rd Floor Conference Room, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.  In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly in Senate Bill 1210 called for working groups to assist the DEQ in “developing recommendations for annual fee schedules for nonhazardous solid waste management facilities and annual maintenance fees for certain water withdrawal permits to replace the current annual fee schedules” (according to the Virginia Legislative Information System summary of Senate Bill 1210).

Water Protection Permits

9/27/21, 6 p.m., at Pigg River Community Center, 2410 South Main Street in Rocky Mount (Franklin County); and 9/28/21, 6 p.m., at Radford University, Kyle Hall, Howe Street in Radford: State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality public hearings on a proposed Virginia Water Protection permit forMountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, for the Mountain Valley Pipeline natural gas project.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notices for these meetings, the draft permit would “allow the filling of wetlands and streams in Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania Counties, Virginia;  [and meet] the Board’s intent to provide Section 401 Water Quality Certification for activities authorized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  …The project is a 42-inch natural gas pipeline located along an approximate 107-mile-long corridor from the Virginia-West Virginia state line in Giles County southeast through Craig County, Montgomery County, Roanoke County, Franklin County, and Pittsylvania County to the Transco Village (located approximately three miles east of Chatham, Virginia)…. The proposed activity would permanently affect 1.19 acres of palustrine forested wetland, 0.76 of an acre of palustrine scrub-shrub wetland (PSS), 0.04 of an acre of palustrine emergent wetland, and 63 linear feet of streams.  The proposed activity would temporarily affect 3.91 acres of palustrine emergent wetlands and 17,065 linear feet of streams.  The activity proposed in the permit will affect surface waters in the Middle New, Upper James, Upper Roanoke and Banister watersheds.  To compensate for the surface waters affected, the applicant would provide 7.114 wetland mitigation credits and 298 stream mitigation credits, and restore temporarily impacted areas to their original condition.  The State Water Control Board’s preliminary decision is to issue the permit.”  The public comment period run August 28, 2021 to October 27, 2021.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 9-13-21: A Musical Take on Neurons

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of September 13, 2021, is “Neurons, Ions, and Water.”  The 4 min./18 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/09/episode-594-9-13-21-neurons-ions-and.html, features  a song by Fredericksburg, Va., musician Bob Gramann, inspired by a phrase coined by Francis Crick, of DNA-structure discovery fame. This revised version of an episode from December 2018 is part of a series of episodes in fall 2021 on water connections to human biology.

Diagram of a neuron.  Image from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, “SEER Training Modules: Introduction to the Nervous System—Nerve Tissue,” online at https://training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/nervous/; the specific URL for the diagram was https://training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/nervous/tissue.html, as of 9-8-21.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

vwr_header

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 9-6-21: Water and the Human Circulatory System

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of September 6, 2021, is “Water’s at the Heart of Blood.”  The 4 min./19 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/09/episode-593-9-6-21-waters-at-heart-of.html, focuses on the water-related aspects of human blood and the circulatory system. This revised version of an episode from October 2017 is part of a series of episodes in fall 2021 on water connections to human biology. This week’s episode includes music by The Steel Wheels.

Photomicrograph (1000 times magnification) of a fixed blood smear, showing an aggregation of platelets (arrow), a type of leukocyte (or white blood cell; the large, purple-stained structure), and several red blood cells.  Photo taken in 1972 by Dr. F. Gilbert, made available for public use at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library, online at https://phil.cdc.gov/default.aspx; the specific URL for the photo was https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=6645, as of 9-6-21.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

vwr_header



Virginia Water Status Report as of the End of August 2021, 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, flooding, and drought, as of the end of July 2021.  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, groundwater, 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.

Here are National Weather Service (NWS) preliminary (still needing verification) precipitation totals for August 2021 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.

LocationAugust 2021 ObservedMonthly NormalSeptember 2020- August 2021 ObservedAnnual Normal based on 1991-2020
Blacksburg5.903.5749.0642.64  
Bluefield  3.893.1437.4141.24
Bristol  4.923.7645.3143.97
Charlottesville  7.263.8745.6441.61
Danville  3.163.4742.7943.73
Lynchburg  2.443.2252.5942.76
Norfolk  6.235.8852.7149.18
Reagan National Airport9.073.2556.6741.82
Richmond  7.214.9057.7645.50
Roanoke  5.393.3747.5842.82
Wallops Island  4.594.3249.3143.25
Washington-Dulles Airport4.933.5339.8343.24


The normal values used by the National Weather Service (NWS) are based on the period from 1991 to 2020, and were released on May 4, 2021.  For information on the normal values, see the “Climate Normals” page at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/land-based-station-data/land-based-datasets/climate-normals.

Location Notes
The Blacksburg location is the Blacksburg National Weather Service Office.
The Bluefield location is the Mercer County, W. Va., airport, near the Va.-W.Va. state line.
The Bristol location is the Tri-Cities Airport in Tenn., about 20 miles from Bristol, Va./Tenn.
The Charlottesville location is the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.
The Danville location is the Danville Regional Airport.
The Lynchburg location is the Lynchburg Regional Airport.
The Norfolk location is the Norfolk International Airport.
Reagan National Airport is in Arlington County.
The Richmond location is the Richmond International Airport.
The Roanoke location is the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.
The Wallops Island is in Accomack County; the location is the NASA Test Facility.
Washington-Dulles Airport is in Loudoun County.

Precipitation Sources
Climate pages of the following National Weather Service Forecast Offices:
Blacksburg, Va., online at https://www.weather.gov/wrh/climate?wfo=rnk, for Blacksburg, Bluefield, Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke;
Morristown, Tenn., online at https://www.weather.gov/wrh/climate?wfo=mrx  for Bristol;
Baltimore-Washington, online at https://www.weather.gov/wrh/climate?wfo=lwx, for Charlottesville, Reagan-National, and Dulles;
Wakefield, Va., online at https://www.weather.gov/wrh/climate?wfo=akq,  for Norfolk, Richmond, and Wallops Island.

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 from the High Plains Center 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 August 31, 2021.


Shown below is a color-coded percentile map of monthly average stream flow values for August 2021 at stream gages in Virginia and just beyond the state border, compared to the historical range for each gage.  The map is from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=mv01d&r=va&w=map.  The chart below the map shows the color codes/percentile classes used by USGS to compare flows to historical records for the month.

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 126 Virginia sites during the 45-day period ending August 30, 2021, accessed on September 1, 2021, at https://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?id=pa01d&sid=w__plot&r=va.


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 12:33 p.m. EDT on August 31, 2021.  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.

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.

DROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) report of September 2, 2021, for conditions as of August 31, categorized about 28.5% of Virginia as abnormally dry or worse, and about 4.6% of the Commonwealth in moderate drought.

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 for conditions as about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:

7/29/21 – 47.2% abnormally dry or worse; 5.6% in moderate drought;

6/29/21 – 45.4% abnormally dry or worse; 5.9% in moderate drought;

5/25/21 – 98.2% abnormally dry or worse; 5.3% in moderate drought;

9/1/20 – drought-free.

Following are comments from Drought Monitor reports in August on conditions in Virginia.

From the 8/5/21 report (conditions as of 8/3/21)

“Similar to conditions in West Virginia and adjacent Maryland, abnormal dryness expanded significantly in western Virginia following several weeks of deficient rainfall, expanding into parts of western North Carolina as well.”

From the 8/12/21 report (conditions as of 8/10/21)

“Similar to conditions in West Virginia and adjacent Maryland, abnormal dryness expanded and some moderate drought was introduced in parts of central and southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina.  And similar to several other regions, isolated heavy rainfall induced small areas of improvement in central Virginia and near the Kentucky border.”

On August 6, 2021, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report (as of 9-2-21).  A link to that report, along with other current drought-status information, is available online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/water/water-quantity/drought.  The DMTF’s reports typically include information from some or all of the following agencies: National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Virginia departments of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Health, and Environmental Quality.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality produces a daily map rating drought-status indicators, online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/water/water-quantity/drought.  Shown below is the map for August 31, 2021.  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 ELSEWHERE

The September 2, 2021 U.S. Drought Monitor (for conditions as of August 31) categorized about 46.5% of the United States (including parts of 40 states plus Puerto Rico) as being abnormally dry or worse.  (The highest percentage in the abnormally or worse categories—that is, in all categories—reported by the Drought Monitor since it began in 2000 was 72.38 % of the country for the week of July 17, 2012.)  The Drought Monitor categorized about 30.6% of the country (including parts of 22 states) 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 38.48% of the country in the report for August 7, 2012.)

The nationwide percentages for abnormally dry or worse (categories D0-D4) and severe or worse (categories D2-D4) for conditions in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:

7/29/21 – 49.4% abnormally dry or worse; 32.1% severe drought or worse;

6/29/21 – 51.4% abnormally dry or worse; 29.9% severe drought or worse;

5/25/21 – 54.8% abnormally dry or worse; 25.2% severe drought or worse;

9/1/20 – 53.7% abnormally dry or worse; 20.7% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area categorized by the Drought Monitor as being in severe-or-worse drought, as of August 31:

Arizona = 54%;

California = 96 %;

Idaho = 88%;

Minnesota = 65%;

Montana = 99%;

Nevada = 95%;

New Mexico = 50%;

North Dakota = 95%;

Oregon = 99%;

South Dakota = 70%;

Utah = 100%;

Washington = 59%;

Wyoming = 61%.

Following are excerpts from Drought Monitor reports in August 2021 on conditions in various regions of the United States during summer 2021.

From the 8/5/21 report (conditions as of 8/3/21)

FROM WEST REGION SUMMARY: “This has been a region of extremes for a few weeks now. Abundant monsoonal rainfall has affected Arizona and New Mexico for about a month, and recently heavy rains expanded as far northward as eastern Nevada, southern Idaho, Utah, and the adjacent fringes of the High Plains Region. July 2021 was the wettest month ever in Tucson, Arizona, where more than 8 inches of rain fell. This stands in sharp contrast to the approximately 0.5 inch of rain that fell last July.  …Across the northern and western tiers of the West Region, conditions have been far drier, and with frequent rounds of abnormal heat, drought conditions and impacts continue to increase. Eastern Washington, central Oregon, and now parts of Montana are in Exceptional (D4) drought, with 1-classification deterioration noted across the entire state of Montana last week. The dryness and periodic intense heat have abetted the development and spread of large wildfires. So far this year, roughly the western half of the country has endured almost 17,000 large fires which have scorched about 2.5 million acres of land.”

From the 8/12/21 report (conditions as of 8/10/21)

FROM WEST REGION SUMMARY: “The dryness, exacerbated by periods of intense heat, has led to the rapid development and expansion of wildfires.  The Dixie Fire in northern California has scorched hundreds of thousands of acres, making it the second-largest fire in the state’s history.  Fires in the western half of the contiguous states (including Colorado and Wyoming) have burned, on average, 30 square miles of total area every day since early June – an area approaching half the size of Washington, DC.”

From the 8/26/21 report (conditions as of 8/24/21)

FROM MIDWEST REGION SUMMARY: “Recent dry conditions also led to expansion of moderate drought in northern Wisconsin and the Michigan Upper Peninsula.  Recent heavy rain allowed for some improvements in drought areas in Iowa and Minnesota (where the heaviest amounts occurred to alleviate very short-term dryness), but longer-term deficits and impacts to the hydrologic system remain across the greater part of the two states.  The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota closed recently due to a nearby wildfire.  The ongoing drought has also adversely affected bee populations and honey production.”

From the 9/2/21 report (conditions as of 8/31/21)

FROM NATIONWIDE SUMMARY: “In the South, Hurricane Ida made landfall along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana on Sunday [August 26] as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.  The hurricane caused extensive infrastructure damage including widespread power outages in Louisiana and Mississippi, impacting more than 1 million homes and businesses as well as stranding residents amongst the floodwaters.  In the West, dry conditions persisted across most of the region with approximately 90% of the region currently categorized as ‘in drought.’  In California, two major wildfires (Dixie and Caldor fires) continued to intensify and expand due to the dry and windy conditions. …In addition to impacting fire conditions, the on-going drought in California continues to strain the state’s water resources.  This is reflected in the reservoir levels of California’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, which are currently at 43% and 34% of historical averages, respectively.  In the Southwest, Lake Powell is currently 31% full and Lake Mead is 35% full.  The total Lower Colorado system is at 40% full, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, compared to 50% full at the same time last year.”

FROM NORTHEAST REGION SUMMARY: “According to NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), July 2021 was the 2nd wettest (+2.99-inch anomaly) on record (1895–2021) for the Northeast Climate Region.”

FROM SOUTHEAST REGION SUMMARY: “According to NOAA’s NCEI, the last two-month period (June-July 2021), was the 12th wettest on record.”

FROM SOUTH REGION SUMMARY: “According to NOAA’s NCEI, the May-July 2021 period was the 4th wettest on record in the South Climate Region and the 3rd and 5th wettest May-July period statewide for Texas and Louisiana, respectively.”

FROM MIDWEST REGION SUMMARY: “According to the NOAA NCEI’s climatological rankings, the Upper Midwest Climate Region observed its 13th driest May-July period on record.”

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 August 31, 2021.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 8-30-21: Water in the Human Body

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of August 30, 2021, is “Exploring the Human Body’s Uses of Water.”  The 3 min./34 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/08/episode-592-8-30-21-exploring-human.html, is an introduction to the functions of water in the human body. It’s the first in a series of upcoming episodes on water connections to human biology. This week’s episode includes music by the group No Strings Attached.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

vwr_header

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 8-23-21: Water Symbolism in African American Civil Rights History

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of August 23, 2021, is “Water Symbolism in African American Civil Rights History.”  The 5 min./32 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/08/episode-591-8-23-21-water-symbolism-in.html, is the second episode in the series Exploring Water in U.S. Civil Rights History. This episode offers several examples of water metaphors and symbolism in civil rights history. The episode features parts of “Follow the Drinking Gourd” by recording artist Eric Bibb (https://www.ericbibb.com/).

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

vwr_header

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 8-16-21: Fishing-line Recycling

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of August 16, 2021, is “Osprey Rescue Reinforces Role of Fishing-line Recycling.”  The 4 min./30 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/08/episode-590-8-16-21-osprey-rescue.html, features sounds that add up to a good argument for recycling fishing line and other plastics that can reach aquatic environments or that can be reached by birds or aquatic animals. This episode, a revised version of an episode from August 2013, includes music by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va.

Fishing-line recycling container at South Holston Lake, Washington County, Virginia, April 15, 2013.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

vwr_header

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 8-9-21: A Musical Journey Around the Commonwealth’s Rivers

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of August 9, 2021, is “A Musical Tour of Rivers and Watersheds.”  The 5 min./22 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/08/episode-589-8-9-21-musical-tour-of.html, features music by several musicians about various Virginia rivers or river watersheds. This revised episode from February 2015 is the last in a series of eight episodes this summer related to watersheds and river basins.

Virginia Water Radio, online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org, is the Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s weekly podcast using sounds and music to focus on issues, events, people, and creatures connected to Virginia’s waters.

vwr_header