On Virginia Water Radio for 4-23-18: Medication Disposal for Healthier Humans and Waterways

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of April 23, 2018, is “Disposing of Medications Properly for Human and Aquatic Health.”  The 3 min./42 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/04/episode-417-4-23-18-disposing-of.html, focuses on ways to keep unused medications out of the wrong hands and of waterways.  The episode coincides with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 28, 2018.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal here.U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEQ) logo for the April 2018 National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, accessed online at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

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!

Severe Weather Predictions and Reports Available Daily from Storm Prediction Center

For predictions of severe weather or for reports and maps of severe weather that has occurred, visit the National Weather Service/Storm Prediction Center online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/.  The Storm Prediction Center’s daily storm-report maps and notes are available online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/online/.  From that link, you can also access the Center’s archive of maps and reports going back several years.  As an example, shown below is the storm report map for April 15, 2018, when numerous tornadoes, hail, and high winds were reported in from Virginia to Florida.  (For more on Virginia tornadoes that day, see Tornado strength in Elon upgraded to EF3, Lynchburg News & Advance, 4/17/18.)

Please note that the daily report maps are considered “preliminary” until the reports can be verified later.

180415_rpts Reports Graphic

The Storm Prediction Center site also has several forecast products, including weather watches/warnings and fire outlooks.  Those products are available at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/.


Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending April 15-16, 2018, Plus an Overview of Flooding Nationwide and a Mid-Month Drought Assessment

Below are several items summarizing recent precipitation and stream flow:

  1. Images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the United States for the period ending April 15, 2018 (information available as of April 17), and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending April 16, 2018 (also information available as of April 17).
  2. An excerpt from the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force’s April 2018 statewide assessment and a map showing the status of several drought indicators in different Virginia regions, as of April 16.
  3. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of April 17.

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For the current month’s other weekly reports on stream flow and precipitation, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Virginia+Precipitation.

For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the posts available at this link: https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Monthly+Water+Status.

For more information on current and historical surface-water and groundwater conditions in Virginia, please see the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Virginia and West Virginia Science Center’s Web site, https://www.usgs.gov/centers/va-wv-water.

GAGE Apr2018 Piney River at Piney River Nelson County ONE Mar3 2018April 2018 Gaging Station of the Month: Piney River at the community of Piney River, Va. (Nelson County), March 3, 2018.  U.S. Geological Survey information from this gage is online at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/inventory/?site_no=02027500.  For the Virginia map of gaging sites, see https://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/rt.


The following two color-coded maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation compared to normal for this period of the year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending April 15, 2018.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).  The maps were accessed from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, located at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, online at https://hprcc.unl.edu/maps.php?map=ACISClimateMaps.

Precip Apr15Precip perc Apr15

Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at http://water.weather.gov/precip/.  The site provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years.  The site also has the capability to show county boundaries, and other map layers available include river flood forecasts and current flood/severe weather warnings.  Shown below is the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 8 a.m. EDT on April 17, 2018.  Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.

Precip US

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average stream flows at Virginia gaging stations as of April 16, 2018, are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/index.php?m=pa07d&r=va&w=map.  The map’s color-coded dots compare the previous week’s average stream flows to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.  Note: Additional gaging stations (such as for reservoirs or for inactive sites) are shown on maps available at the USGS’ National Water Information System Mapper, online at https://maps.waterdata.usgs.gov/mapper/index.html.

streams Apr16

KEEP on deskto - Stream flow code graph

Flooding Overview

As of about 9 a.m. EDT on April 17, 2018, about 24 stream-gaging stations in Virginia or in nearby areas of adjacent states were experiencing flooding or near flood stage, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for Virginia and nearby areas.  The AHPS map for Virginia is shown below along with the nationwide map as of the same time.  The maps are available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flooding 01 VA Apr17Flooding 02 US Apr17

Mid-month Drought Status Update

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its latest Virginia drought-status report in early April 2018.  The report is available at the DMTF Web site, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.  The Task Force was scheduled to meet again on May 10, 2018.

Following is an excerpt from the April 2018 report (a map of Virginia’s Drought Evaluation Regions follows the excerpt):
“Recorded precipitation during March was variable, with below normal amounts in much of central and southeastern Virginia.  Streamflows continue to be in below to much below normal conditions across most of the Commonwealth.  Groundwater levels have shown slight improvements in most of the observation wells in the Virginia Climate Response Network, but significant improvements have been observed in the western part of Commonwealth in response to abundant snowfall.  The…weekly U.S. Drought Monitor Web page map for Virginia [released on April 5, 2018] showed that abnormally dry (D0) conditions [continued] across approximately 55% of the Commonwealth.  Moderate drought conditions [continue] within all or parts of nine counties in south-central Virginia (Chowan, Middle James, and Roanoke drought evaluation regions) and in Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria in the Northern Virginia drought evaluation region.

“The National Weather Service Monthly Drought Outlook released on March 31, 2018, indicated a likelihood of drought removal in south-central Virginia through April.  The current U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook for the period through June 30, 2018 (released March 15, 2018) indicated the same likelihood.

“The DMTF discussed the continuing abnormally dry conditions throughout the central and eastern regions of the state.  The Task Force agreed that the existing Drought Watch Advisories in the Chowan, Middle James, Northern Piedmont, Northern Virginia, and Roanoke River drought evaluation regions should continue.  Members also expressed concerns regarding the spread of abnormally dry conditions across the eastern and southeastern part of the Commonwealth.  If the current pattern of below-normal precipitation in these areas continues, groundwater levels will remain low.  These conditions may have serious impacts upon water availability during the next growing season due to low water table levels and subsequent low base flow in streams.”

Drought Eval regoins

The Task Force also produces a map rating drought-status indicators.  Shown below is the map for April 16, 2018.  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.”  [ADD as called for: Note the emergency-conditions code (in red) for groundwater in one region and stream flow in one region.]  Any given day’s current map and more information on drought status in Virginia are available the Task Force Web site, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/Drought.aspx.

Drought VA Apr16

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Apr. 28-May 2, 2018

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, non-governmental, events, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.


4/18/18, 9 a.m.: Sewage Handling and Disposal Appeal Review Board.  At the Perimeter Center, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

4/19/18, 9 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.

4/19/18, 11:15 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington.  At 10 a.m. that day at the same locatoin, the Board will convene a formal administrative hearing on an appeal of a decision issued by the commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, relating to Agricultural Stewardship Act Complaint #1002.

4/24/18, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

4/25/18, 4 p.m.: Marine Resources Commission’s Shellfish Management Advisory Committee.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

5/2/18, 12 noon: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  At the James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Road Williamsburg.

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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.

Jan. 10-Mar. 10, 2018; resumed April 11. Virginia General Assembly, Richmond.  The 2018 General Assembly convened on January 10 and was scheduled for 60 days, a so-called “long session,” which is held in all even-numbered years.  The Assembly was not able to pass a budget by March 10, so it reconvened on April 11.  The current status is available online at this link.

4/18/18, Richmond: Virginia General Assembly’s reconvened (“veto”) session.

The General Assembly’s Web site, http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/index.php, offers several useful features, including member lists, session calendars, live video of floor sessions, and information on legislative processes.  The Legislative Information System (LIS) Web site, http://lis.virginia.gov/lis.htm, provides lists and summaries of all bills, searchable by topic, member, committee, etc.

The House of Delegates meeting schedule is available at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/schedule/meetingSchedule.php; live video streams of floor sessions from the House are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.  The Senate meeting schedule and the floor sessions’ live video stream are available at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.

Live video streams of floor sessions are available at http://virginia-house.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the House and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.

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For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site; click on “Public Notices” in the menu to the left to access upcoming meetings and public-comment periods.  A search tool to find approved TMDL reports is available at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterQualityInformationTMDLs/TMDL/TMDLDevelopment/ApprovedTMDLReports.aspx.

None during this period.

*          *          *

(topics listed alphabetically)

Coastal Zone Management
4/18/18, 1 p.m.: Virginia Coastal Zone Management Policies Advisory Group.  At the Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.  This group is advising the DEQ on the development of documents for potential coastal zone management program change submissions.  The work is being done by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center, located at the College of William and Mary (online at http://law.wm.edu/academics/programs/jd/electives/clinics/vacoastal/index.php).

Fort Monroe
4/19/18, 8 a.m.: Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees.  At 490 Fenwick 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/.

Scenic Rivers
4/19/18, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At City Hall in Richmond.

5/2/18, 10 a.m.: Stormwater Best Management Practices Clearinghouse Stakeholders Group.  At the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, 1005 Technology Park Drive in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) Clearinghouse is a Web site on design standards and specifications of stormwater BMPs in Virginia.  More information about the Stormwater BMP Clearinghouse is available at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/swc/.  The DEQ’s Web page for the Virginia Stormwater Management Program is http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/StormwaterManagement.aspx.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
4/23/18, 10 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) technical advisory committee on proposed amendments to the general Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit for discharges of stormwater from construction activities.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-880.  The notice of intended regulatory action was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on October 16, 2017.  More information on this regulatory action is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2869.

4/26/18, 10 a.m.:  Technical Advisory Committee meeting on amendment and reissuance of the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity.  At the Bank of America Building, 1111 East Main Street in Richmond.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-151.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action on this rulemaking was published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on February 19, 2018.  More information on this regulatory process is available online at http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=1809.

On Virginia Water Radio for 4-16-18: Catch Some Spring Fever from an Eastern Phoebe

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of April 16, 2018, is “The Flycatching Eastern Phoebe’s Song Helps Listeners Catch Spring Fever.”  The 3 min./49 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2018/04/episode-416-4-16-18-flycatching-eastern.html, is an introduction a common Virginia member of the bird family of flycatchers.  The episode includes part of “Spring Fever” by John McCutcheon.

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!

National Prescription Drug Take-back Day is April 28, 2018

April 28, 2018, is the next scheduled National Prescription Drug Take-back Day.

Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and conducted by law-enforcement agencies nationwide, the event is designed to help people properly dispose of unused drugs.  Proper disposal helps prevent improper drug use and helps keep chemicals out of waterways.

To see if a take-back day is happening near you,  visit the U.S. Department of Justice “National Prescription Drug Take Back” Web site, http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html, where you can search for the take-back location nearest you; or call your local police or sheriff’s department.

For an audio take on proper disposal of medications, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 417 (4-23-18) (3 min./42 sec.).

Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events – April 10, 2018, Edition

Boats and crews 2 Batteau Fest Jun15 2013One of Virginia’s most distinctive water-related events: the annual James River Batteau Festival, launched every June in Lynchburg, Va.  Shown above is the launch on June 15, 2013.  The 33rd annual festival runs June 16-23, 2018.

This post lists conferences, meetings, and other events related to Virginia’s water resources and held in Virginia (in  most cases; nearby out-of-state events are occasionally included).  Except for online meetings or seminars, the events here typically are at least several hours long (for example, this site does not list the frequent one-hour water-related seminars held at Virginia colleges or universities).  This post is updated as information becomes available and is re-posted monthly.

This list does not include Virginia government meetings (except for a listing of the dates of the Virginia General Assembly, which starts each January).  The News Grouper blog has a post on those meetings each week, at  https://vawatercentralnewsgrouper.wordpress.com/?s=Water-related+Government.

For water-related meetings outside of Virginia, please see the Grouper post, “A Water Conference Sampler from around the United States and Elsewhere,” re-posted quarterly.

Thanks to the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC) for providing some of the information in this post.  More information about the VWMC is available online at http://www.vwmc.vwrrc.vt.edu/

For links to events lists from several other organizations, please see the bottom of this post.

Continuing through October 31, 2018, statewide: Virginia Household Water Quality Program drinking-water clinics.  People who rely on private wells, springs, or cisterns can get their water tested inexpensively for key constituents and receive a report interpreting the results.  The cost to participate in 2017 was $55.  A list of upcoming clinics in 2018 is available at http://www.wellwater.bse.vt.edu/events.php.  For more information, contact Erin James Ling, at (540) 231-9058 or wellwater@vt.edu.

April 11, 2018, Roanoke: Annual “Water is Life” Conference.  Organized by the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project (SERCAP).  More information: http://www.sercap.org; or e-mail swatts@sercap.org.

Apr. 28, 2018: National Prescription Drug Take-back Day.  Coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice/Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and conducted by law-enforcement agencies nationwide.  The event is designed to help people properly dispose of unused drugs in order to help prevent improper drug use and to keep chemicals out of waterways.  To see if a take-back day is happening near you, call your local police or sheriff’s department, or visit the U.S. Department of Justice “National Take Back Initiative” Web site at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html, where you can search for the take-back location nearest you.

April 26-28, 2018, Chesapeake and Suffolk: Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival.  More information: https://www.facebook.com/greatdismalswampbirdingfest/.

May 1-4, 2018, Richmond: Virginia Forestry Summit.  Organized by the Virginia Forestry Association.  More information: http://www.vaforestry.org/; (804) 278-8733; vfa@vaforestry.org.

May 8-9, 2018, Staunton:  Virginia Turfgrass Council’s Come to the Valley Conference.  More information: http://www.cometothevalley.org/; (757) 464-1004  (Virginia Beach); e-mail: vaturf@verizon.net.

May 11-13, 2018, Konnarock: Mount Rogers Spring Naturalist Rally.  Organized by the Blue Ridge Discovery Center.  Events include a featured speaker, field trips, and nighttime programs.  More information: http://blueridgediscoverycenter.org/mrnr/.

May 22-24, 2018, Longwood University, Farmville: 2018 Virginia Junior Academy of Science Research Symposium.  More information: http://www.vjas.org/.

May 23-25, 2018, Longwood University, Farmville: Spring Meeting of the Virginia Academy of Science.  More information: http://vacadsci.org/vas-meetings/annual-spring-meeting/; (804) 864-1450; e-mail: vasoffice@vacadsci.org.

Jun. 1-3, 2018, statewide: Free Fishing Days.  Organized by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  No state fishing license needed during this period, except when fishing on stocked trout waters.  More information: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/free-fishing-days/.

Jun. 1-3, 2018, Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center, Appomattox: Women’s Outdoor Weekend (for ages 10 and up).  Organized by Virginia Cooperative Extension.  More information: http://holidaylake4h.com/wow.php; phone (434) 248-5444; e-mail: bgoin@vt.edu.

Jun. 2, 2018: Annual Potomac River Swim for the Environment.  Swimmers dive into the Potomac at Hull Neck in Northumberland County, Virginia, and swim 7.5 miles to Point Lookout State Park in Maryland.  Participants raise funds for the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, the Southern Maryland Sierra Club, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Potomac River Association, the Potomac River Conservancy, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, and the St. Mary’s Watershed Association.  More information: http://www.potomacriverswim.com.

June 16-23, 2018, on the James River, starting at Percival’s Island in Lynchburg: 33rd Annual James River Batteau Festival.  Organized by the Virginia Canals and Navigation Society.  More information: http://www.vacanals.org/batteau/.

Sep. 1-Oct. 31, 2018, statewide: Virginia Waterways Cleanup.  Organized by Clean Virginia Waterways at Longwood University.  This is a series of local beach, bay, river, stream, lake, and pond cleanups across the state.  2018 is the 24th year that the organization has coordinated the Virginia cleanup as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by the Ocean Conservancy.  More information: http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/; (434) 395-2602 or cleanva@longwood.edu.

Sep. 15, 2018, Virginia Beach: Elizabeth River RIVERFest.  Organized by the Elizabeth River Project. More information: www.elizabethriverfest.org; or contact Susan Smith at (757) 399-7487 or ssmith@elizabethriver.org.

Oct. 9-14, 2018, on the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore, Md., and Portsmouth Virginia: Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.  More information: http://www.gcbsr.org/; phone (757) 393-2220; e-mail: mailto:mrace@gcbsr.org.

Oct. 18, 2018, 10:18 a.m., across the southeastern United States: Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill.  Organized by several partners, including the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.  More information: http://www.shakeout.org/southeast/; or e-mail: shakeout@cusec.org.


Boating Safety Classes by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/Nutrient Management Training

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation/State Parks Events

Virginia Department of Emergency Management Training Events (including for floods, hazardous material, and other water-related emergencies)

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Training for Stormwater Management and Erosion/Sediment Control

Virginia Department of Health Listing of Training Resources for Onsite Sewage Professionals

Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program Events

Virginia Green (Virginia Tourism Corporation site for “green” vacations and activities)

Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)

Virginia Master Naturalists

Virginia Native Plant Society

Virginia Sea Grant’s Links to Marine-education Opportunities for K-12 Teachers (click on “Professional Development”)

Virginia Water Environment Association

American Water Resources Association-National Capital Region Section

U.S. EPA Watershed Academy Webcast Seminars

Wetlands Education and Training Opportunities from Environmental Concern (non-profit in St. Michaels, Md.; opportunities for professionals and educators).