On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 7-26-21: On the Bluffs

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of July 26, 2021, is “On the Bluffs of Rivers and Other Waters.”  The 4 min./00 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/07/episode-587-7-26-21-on-bluffs-of-rivers.html, explores the prominent riverside and coastal features known as bluffs, cliffs, palisades, and other names. This revised episode from August 2013 is part of a series this summer of episodes related to watersheds and river basins. The episode features music by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va.

View of a bluff at York River State Park, March 29, 2011.  Photo courtesy of Timothy Seaman.

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 Public Meetings for July 23 – August 6, 2021; Including General Assembly Special Session Opening August 2

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

7/27/21, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Rd in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

7/28/21, 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).

8/3/21, 10 a.m.: Board for Waste Management Facility Operators.  At the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Perimeter Center, Second Floor, Board Room 4, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

8/5/21, 10 a.m.: Council on Environmental Justice.  At the East Reading Room, 1111 East Broad Street
in Richmond.  Electronic access at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/vcej8521, or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 112 4819.

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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?211+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.  The Virginia General Assembly Web site is https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

8/2/21 – Special session of the General Assembly opens.  On June 23, 2021, Gov. Ralph Northam issued a proclamation calling the General Assembly into special session, starting August 2, 2021, to fill judicial vacancies and allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding.  A news release on the proclamation is available online at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2021/june/headline-898041-en.html.

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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.

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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:

7/28/21, 9:30 a.m.: Stream Protection and Forestry Subcommittee.  At the Augusta County Government Center, 18 Government Center Lane in Verona.

8/3/21, 10 a.m.: Animal Waste Subcommittee.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.

8/4/21, 9:30 a.m.: Programmatic Subcommittee.  At the Virginia Department of Forestry, 900 Natural Resources Drive in Charlottesville.

8/6/21, 10 a.m.: Cover Crop and Nutrient Management Subcommittee.  At the Town of Orange
Public Works Building, 235 Warren Street in Orange (Orange County).

Flooding – Coastal

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

7/26/21, 10 a.m.: Finance Subcommittee.  At the Virginia Resources Authority, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1920, in Richmond.  Click on the meeting date for electronic access information.

7/27/21, 6 p.m.: Outreach Meeting.  At Germanna Community College, 10000 Germanna Point Drive in Fredericksburg.

7/28/21, 6 p.m.: Outreach Meeting.  At 9211 Forest Hill Avenue in Richmond.

7/29/21, 6 p.m.: Outreach Meeting.  At Chesterfield County Government Complex, 10001 Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield.

8/3/21, 6 p.m.: Outreach Meeting.  At Rappahannock Community College, 12745 College Drive in Saluda (Middlesex County).

8/4/21, 6 p.m.: Outreach Meeting.  At the Northern Neck Planning District Commission Office, 457 Main Street in Warsaw (Richmond County).

8/5/21, 6 p.m.: Outreach Meeting.  At the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission Office, 723 Woodlake Drive in Chesapeake.

Mining

7/28/21, 8 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) formal hearing to review the issuance of Bond Forfeiture Order to Black River Coal, LLC Permit #1402094 in Tazewell County.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).

7/29/21, 8 a.m.: DMME formal hearing to review complaints by complainant Larry Bush in regards to JMAC Leasing, Inc. Permit #1102325 in Wise County and Permit # 1102287 in Lee County.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).

Ports

7/26/21 and 7/27/21: Virginia Port Authority (VPA) meetings:

7/26/21, 1:30 p.m.: Nominating Committee;

7/26/21, 2 p.m.: Growth and Operations Committee;

7/26/21, 4 p.m.: Finance and Audit Committee;

7/26/21, 5 p.m.: Executive Committee;

7/27/21, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners (annual and regular meeting).

All meetings at the VPA offices, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

Professional and Occupational Licensing and Regulation

7/28/21, 10:30 a.m.: Board of Contractors/Department of Professional Occupation and Regulation (DPOR) public hearing on proposed amendment to regulations on the Backflow Vocational Training Requirement.  At the DPOR Office, Perimeter Center—Suite 200, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  More information on the proposed regulatory action is available online at https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=5559&display=stages.  According to that site, “the Board for Contractors seeks to lower the current vocational training requirement for Certified Backflow Prevention Device Workers who have less than seven years of experience in water distribution systems.”

Waste Management – Solid Waste

7/30/21, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Nonhazardous Solid Waste Fee Study Working Group.  At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1210, which calls 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).

8/4/21, 6 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public meeting on a proposed corrective action remedy decision and draft permit for AdvanSix Resins & Chemicals LLC’s facility in the City of Hopewell.  The facility has applied for a reissued permit to continue to conduct corrective action measures, including capping in selected areas, performance of long-term groundwater and outfall monitoring, and implementation of engineering and institutional controls.  The public comment period is July 12—August 26, 2021. 

Waterworks/Drinking Water Regulations

7/27/21, 1 p.m.: Department Of Health (VDH) Workgroup on PFAS Contamination in Drinking Water.  The Policy and Regulation Subgroup meets 7/27/21, 3 p.m.  Both meetings at the VDH, Upper Basement Room 11, 109 Governor Street in Richmond.  Click on the meeting dates for information about electronic access to the meetings.  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 7-19-21: Test Your Knowledge of Virginia Rivers

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of July 19, 2021, is “A Virginia Rivers and Watersheds Quiz Game.”  The 4 min./41 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/07/episode-586-7-19-21-virginia-rivers-and.html, features questions about some Virginia river and watershed facts. This revised episode from September 2016 is part of a series this summer of episodes related to watersheds and river basins. The episode features music by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va.

The river shown here, as viewed from Loudoun County, Va., in March 2008, has been a key part of Virginia’s history but is not actually in the Commonwealth. What river is it?

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 Public Meetings for July 16 – July 30, 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

7/20/21, 9 a.m.: Board of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  At Hardywood Park Craft Brewery—West Creek, 820 Sanctuary Trail Drive in Richmond.

7/20/21, 10 a.m.: Gas and Oil Board.  Electronic meeting; for access, dial in to (866) 845-1266, passcode 52769596#.

7/21/21, 9 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  Electronic meeting; access information not available as of 7/7/21; click on the meeting date for latest information from the Regulatory Town Hall.

7/27/21, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 380 Fenwick Rd in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

7/28/21, 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).

*          *          *

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?211+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.  The Virginia General Assembly Web site is https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

8/2/21 – Special session of the General Assembly opens.  On June 23, 2021, Gov. Ralph Northam issued a proclamation calling the General Assembly into special session, starting August 2, 2021, to fill judicial vacancies and allocate more than $4.3 billion in federal relief funding.  A news release on the proclamation is available online at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2021/june/headline-898041-en.html.

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)

Chesapeake Bay

7/19/21, 12 p.m., and 7/20/21, 8:30 a.m.: Chesapeake Bay Commission/Virginia Delegation Retreat.  On 7/19/21, at the University of Virginia’s Coastal Research Center, 6364 Cliff Road in Cape Charles (Northampton County).  On 7/20/21, at the Eastern Shore of Virginia Barrier Islands Center, 7295 Young Street in Machipongo (Northampton County).  The agenda is online (as a PDF) at https://lis.virginia.gov/211/oth/Agenda.CBC.0719-2021.pdf.  More information about the Chesapeake Bay Commission is available online at https://www.chesbay.us/.

Energy – Solar

7/21/21, 11 a.m.: Clean Energy Advisory Board.  At the Fairfield Public Library, 1401 North Laburnum Avenue in Richmond.  The board was established by House Bill 2741 in the 2019 Virginia General Assembly for the purpose of establishing a pilot program for disbursing loans or rebates for the installation of solar energy infrastructure in low-income and moderate-income households.  The bill establishing the Board set its expiration date at July 1, 2022.

Flooding – Coastal

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

7/26/21, 10 a.m.: Finance Subcommittee.  At the Virginia Resources Authority, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1920, in Richmond.  Click on the meeting date for electronic access information.

Flooding – Statewide

7/15/21, 1 p.m.: Department of Conservation and Recreation question-and-answer session on the new grant round for Community Flood Preparedness Fund.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/734554045; or dial in to (224) 501-3412, access Code: 734-554-045.  Information on the fund is available online at https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/dam-safety-and-floodplains/dsfpm-cfpf.  According to that site, the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund was “established by legislation passed during the 2020 session of the General Assembly.  Money in the fund comes from the auction of carbon allowances through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  The fund was established to provide support for regions and localities across Virginia to reduce the impacts of flooding, including flooding driven by climate change.  The fund will prioritize projects that are in concert with local, state and federal floodplain management standards, local resilience plans, and the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Plan.  The fund will empower communities to complete vulnerability assessments, and develop and implement action-oriented approaches to bolster flood preparedness and resilience.”

Mining

7/28/21, 8 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) formal hearing to review the issuance of Bond Forfeiture Order to Black River Coal, LLC Permit #1402094 in Tazewell County.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).

7/29/21, 8 a.m.: DMME formal hearing to review complaints by complainant Larry Bush in regards to JMAC Leasing, Inc. Permit #1102325 in Wise County and Permit # 1102287 in Lee County.  At the DMME office, 3405 Mountain Empire Road in Big Stone Gap (Wise County).

Professional and Occupational Licensing and Regulation

7/28/21, 10:30 a.m.: Board of Contractors/Department of Professional Occupation and Regulation (DPOR) public hearing on proposed amendment to regulations on the Backflow Vocational Training Requirement.  At the DPOR Office, Perimeter Center—Suite 200, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  More information on the proposed regulatory action is available online at https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewaction.cfm?actionid=5559&display=stages.  According to that site, “the Board for Contractors seeks to lower the current vocational training requirement for Certified Backflow Prevention Device Workers who have less than seven years of experience in water distribution systems.”

Scenic Rivers

7/15/21, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At Stone House, Forest Hill Park in Richmond.

Waste Management – Solid Waste

7/30/21, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Nonhazardous Solid Waste Fee Study Working Group.  At the DEQ’s Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  In 2021, the Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1210, which calls 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).

Waterworks/Drinking Water Regulations

7/19/21, 11 a.m.: Department Of Health (VDH) Workgroup on PFAS Contamination in Drinking WaterPolicy and Regulation Subgroup.  The full Workgroup meets 7/27/21, 1 p.m.  Both meetings at the VDH, Upper Basement Room 11, 109 Governor Street in Richmond.  Click on the meeting dates for information about electronic access to the meetings.  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 7-12-21: Getting the Words on Water from Middle School Students

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of July 12, 2021, is “Middle Schoolers Make the Call on the Water Cycle, Watersheds, and Stormwater.”  The 4 min./46 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/07/episode-585-7-12-21-middle-schoolers.html, features Christiansburg, Va., middle schoolers giving the Commonwealth a vocabulary lesson during a Stormwater Education Day in Montgomery County on April 12, 2017. This revised episode from April 2017 is part of a series this summer of episodes related to watersheds and river basins. The revised version features new music composed and recorded for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett.

Stormwater Education Day CMS at Izaak Walton Apr12 2017 USED Radio 365
Some of he learning stations ready for Christiansburg (Va.) Middle School students at Stormwater Education Day, held by Montgomery County Schools and the Town of Christiansburg on April 12, 2017.

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 7-5-21: Operation Dry Water Works on Taking the Alcohol Out of the Boating Waters

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of July 5, 2021, is “Operation Dry Water Targets Boating Under the Influence.”  The 4 min./18 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/07/episode-584-7-5-21-operation-dry-water.html, looks at the impact of alcohol on boating and Operation Dry Water’s efforts–heightened during the July 4 holiday weekend–to reduce boating while under the influence of alcohol. Music by the Nelson County/Charlottesville, Va.-based band Chamomile and Whiskey provides imagery appropriate for the dangerous mix of alcohol and boating. This episode is a revised version of an episode from June 2015.

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 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 June 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 June 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.

LocationJune 2021 ObservedMonthly NormalJuly 2020- June 2021 ObservedAnnual Normal based on 1991-2020
Blacksburg2.814.2746.9442.64  
Bluefield  2.724.1439.4041.24
Bristol  3.623.9245.6043.97
Charlottesville  3.284.3847.4741.61
Danville  1.203.9846.6643.73
Lynchburg  5.263.8262.3842.76
Norfolk  4.444.4354.0449.18
Reagan National Airport5.514.2058.6041.82
Richmond  4.024.6462.1045.50
Roanoke  4.374.6646.8842.82
Wallops Island  2.433.3951.1843.25
Washington-Dulles Airport3.654.3044.9643.24

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://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=rnk, for Blacksburg, Bluefield, Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke;

Morristown, Tenn., online at https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mrx, for Bristol;

Baltimore-Washington, online at https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx, for Charlottesville, Reagan-National, and Dulles;

Wakefield, Va., online at https://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=akq, for Norfolk, Richmond, and Wallops Island.

The normal values used by the National Weather Service (NWS) in these provisional reports 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.

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 June 29, 2021.

Shown below is a color-coded percentile map of monthly average stream flow values for June 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 June 29, 2021, accessed on July 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 3:52 p.m. EDT on June 30, 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 July 1, 2021, for conditions as of June 29, categorized about 45.4% of Virginia as abnormally dry and about 5.9% 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:

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

4/27/21 – drought-free;

3/30/21 – 7.9% abnormally dry;

6/30/20 – 0.3% abnormally dry.

Following are comments from the Drought Monitor report of July 1, 2021 (conditions as of June 29) on conditions in Virginia.
“Intense rainfall this past week left much of the [Southeast] region virtually drought-free.  In areas that missed out on the heaviest rainfall, such as Virginia and North Carolina, pockets of moderate drought (D1) remain and areas of abnormal dryness (D0) expanded.  Rainfall deficits of 2 to 8 inches in areas of those two states still exist over the past 90 days.  State drought monitoring teams commented that [agricultural] reports continue to note moderately dry fields, which is apparent on satellite-based indicators of vegetation health, and that lake levels remain low.”

On June 25, 2021, the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its most recent report (as of 7-7-21).  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 June 30, 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

For conditions as of June 29, 2021, the U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 51.4% of the United States (including parts of 41 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 29.9% of the country (including parts of 24 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 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) for conditions in the previous three months and one year ago were as follows:

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

4/27/21 – 60.6% abnormally dry or worse; 27.1% severe drought or worse;

3/30/21 – 58.6% abnormally dry or worse; 24.7% severe drought or worse;

6/30/20 – 38.2% abnormally dry or worse, 8.8% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area, as of June 29, 2021, categorized by the Drought Monitor as being in severe-or-worse drought:

Arizona = 95%;

California = 95%;

Montana = 61%;

Nevada = 95%;

New Mexico = 85%;

North Dakota = 91%;

Oregon = 82%;

South Dakota = 69%;

Utah = 100% (99.9);

Wyoming = 53%.

Following are Following are comments from the Drought Monitor report of July 1, 2021 (conditions as of June 29) on conditions in various parts of the United States:

High Plains: “…Producers from Wyoming eastward across the Dakotas are having to make tough decisions as to what to do with cattle, with many selling entire herds.  In response to the worsening conditions, extreme drought (D3) expanded in South Dakota and parts of Wyoming where supported by increasing rainfall deficits, declining soil moisture and streamflow, and vegetation stress.”

West: “Unprecedented heat in the Northwest, combined with another week of dry weather, led to worsening drought conditions across the region.  This week, high temperatures ranged from 20 to 30 degrees above normal, breaking multiple records.  The excess heat greatly increased evaporative demand, further drying out soils and vegetation, and worsening conditions. …Much of the West is classified as severe drought or worse.  Notable impacts include increased wildlife encounters in California, Nevada, and Utah, as drought has driven snakes and/or bears in search of food and water into urban areas in those states.  In Montana, fishing restrictions have been put in place on many rivers due to low flows and warm waters.  Drought-stricken ranchers are selling cattle due to poor forage conditions and a lack of feed.  On top of this, grasshoppers have been denuding trees and competing with cattle for food.  So far, at least eight national forests in the West now have fire restrictions.”

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 June 30, 2021.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 6-28-21: The Blue Ridge and the Rivers it Helps Generate

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 28, 2021, is “One Blue Ridge Helps Start Several Virginia Rivers.”  The 4 min./41 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/06/episode-583-6-28-21-one-blue-ridge.html, focuses on how Virginia’s Blue Ridge is a divide for six of Virginia’s major rivers. The episode includes music by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va., and by The Steel Wheels, of Rockingham County/Harrisonburg, Va. This revised episode from April 2014 is part of a series this summer of episodes related to watersheds and river basins.

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 June 21, 2021: At the Headwaters

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 21, 2021, is “Where Headwaters Flow, Rivers Begin.”  The 5 min./9 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/06/episode-582-6-21-21-where-headwaters.html, focuses on headwater streams and the roles they play in watersheds.  The episode features the guest voice of Virginia Tech graduate Carrie Jensen, describing her research on Appalachian headwaters during the November 4, 2017, “Nutshell Games,” conducted by Tech’s Center for Communicating Science. The episode includes music by the multi-state band, Wake Up Robin. This revised episode from December 2017 is part of a series this summer of episodes related to watersheds and river basins.

397 Image Brush Mountain stream Dec2 2017
A headwater stream on Brush Mountain in Blacksburg, Va., Dec. 2, 2017.

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 June 14, 2021: An Introduction to Watersheds

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 14, 2021, is “Introducing Watersheds with ‘Mountain Stream’ by Bob Gramann.”  The 4 min./31 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/06/episode-581-6-14-21-introducing.html, explores the basics of watersheds, some factors that make watersheds different, and the major watersheds in Virginia. The episode features music by Bob Gramann of Fredericksburg, Va. This revised episode from April 2013 is the start of a series this summer of episodes on watersheds and river basins.

Thornton River, Shenandoah National Park, Rappahannock County, June 19, 2006.

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!