On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 3-1-21: Water in U.S. Civil Rights History – Series Overview

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of March 1, 2021, is “Exploring Water in U.S. Civil Rights History – Series Overview.”  The 4 min./19 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/03/episode-566-3-1-21-exploring-water-in.html, is the introduction to a planned series of episode that will be posted as a thematic package when all the episodes are available in the coming weeks. The series will examine three areas where water connects to civil rights history: 1) metaphors, symbolism, and other cultural references; 2) access to, and interactions with, water; and 3) the roles of rivers and other water places. This week’s overview episode features traditional music arranged for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett.

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

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for February 26 – March 12, 2021; Including Information on the 2021 Virginia General Assembly

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 STATEWIDE AUTHORITIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COMMITTEES

2/26/21, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6660221729320481296.

3/1/21, 1 p.m.: Outdoors Foundation/Special Forestry Committee.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://zoom.us/j/96135235171.

3/4/21, 9 a.m.: Board of Forestry.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://covaconf.webex.com/covaconf/j.php?MTID=mbda7261b32518cb508a4a20cc4790645, access code: 185 179 0917; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code: 185 179 0917.

3/10/21, 10 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects.  Electronic meeting; access information not posted as of 2-24-21.

3/10/21, 6 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board subcommittee on public engagement.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7583744129749007.

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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/.

January 13 – late February, 2020: Virginia General Assembly, Richmond.  Current status is available online at this link.  The 2021 General Assembly convened on January 13 and was initially scheduled for 30 days, a so-called “short session,” which is held in all odd-numbered years.  Often, short sessions are extended by the Assembly to 46 days; any session may be extended for up to 30 days.  “Long sessions” of 60 days are held in even-numbered years.  On February 4, Gov. Ralph Northam called for a special session of the Assembly to begin on February 10 and extend the overall session to 46 days (earlier in 2021, the Assembly failed to approve a session extension).  A reconvened (“veto”) session is held on the sixth Wednesday after adjournment of each regular or special session.  During long sessions, the Commonwealth’s budget for the upcoming two years is set; amendments to the current biennial budget may be considered both in short and long sessions.  More information about the Assembly’s normal schedule and duration is available in “About the General Assembly,” online at this link.

The General Assembly’s main Web page, 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.  Streaming of floor sessions is available at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php for the House and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.

Committees are key parts of the General Assembly process.  Information about all standing committees as of the 2021 session—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available online at https://lis.virginia.gov/211/com/COM.HTM.

To express an opinion on legislation, citizens are requested to contact their respective delegate of senator.  If you do not know your representatives or their contact information, you can use the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

You can find members’ contact information at these links:

House of Delegates, at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php;

State Senate, at https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/.

The Lobbyist-In-A-Box subscriber service also offers free tracking for up to five bills, and it offers tracking of more than five bills for a fee; visit http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm.  For assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631.

The organization Open Virginia’s Richmond Sunlight Web site, at https://www.richmondsunlight.com/, also offers tools for following the General Assembly and for learning about Virginia law.

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

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

None during this period.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Coastal Flooding and Resilience

2/26/21, 8 a.m.: Secretary of Natural Resources’ Technical Advisory Committee on the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/4zsm2aq3; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 449 7772. More information on the Coastal Resilience Master Plan is available online at https://www.naturalresources.virginia.gov/initiatives/resilience/masterplan/.

Energy – Solar

2/26/21, 12 p.m.: Clean Energy Advisory Board/Stakeholder Engagement and Marketing Committee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://covaconf.webex.com/covaconf/onstage/g.php?MTID=e845bf7b837543eb179aea254cf37f998, password: dmme1; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code: 185 281 4190.  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.

Waste Management – Solid Waste

3/8/21, 6 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft permit modification for the Carroll-Grayson-Galax (CGG) Regional Landfill located in Carroll County, regarding revision of the cell sequence of construction, addition of side slope drainage, elimination of benches, increase of the landfill cover maximum elevation, modification of the leachate collection and storage system, addition of a 150,000 gallon leachate storage tank, and modification of the stormwater management system.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3078108503164221455; for phone access, contact Daniel P. Scott at (276) 676-4866, or e-mail: daniel.scott@deq.virginia.gov to obtain a telephone number.

Waterworks/Drinking Water or Wastewater Works Regulations

3/4/21, 2 p.m.: Department of Health workgroup on PFAS contamination in drinking water.  Electronic meeting; citizens who wish to attend virtually should contact Kris Latino at (804) 864-7372 or christine.latino@vdh.virginia.gov for login information.  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 2-22-21: Some Feathered, Cold-weather Fauna of the Chesapeake Area

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of February 22, 2021, is “Winter Birds of the Chesapeake Bay.”  The 4 min./14 sec. episode, available online http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/02/episode-565-2-22-21-winter-birds-of.html, focuses on some of the Chesapeake Bay area feathered wildlife that will soon be heading north. The episode features music composed for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett. This is a revised version of an episode from February 2013.

Drawing of a Dunlin, one of the birds featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 565.  Drawing by Tom Kelley, made available in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Digital Library, online at https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/.  Specific URL for the image is https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/5023/rec/1, as of 2/23/21.

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!

Water in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly: Inventory of Water-related Legislation, as of February 19, 2021

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center annually compiles an inventory of water-related legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.   We update the inventory during the session, then publish a final version after the end of the reconvened (“veto”) session.

The inventory for 2021, with bill status as of February 19, is now available (as a PDF) at http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/virginia-water-legislation/.  The current version lists 94 measures (including two budget bills) that pertain to water directly or that pertain to land uses that can affect water, such as energy production and use.  Each bill in the inventory listed is hyperlinked to the bill’s entry on the Virginia Legislative Information System, where you can find a summary of the bill and the bill’s full text, and follow the course of the bill.

The Water Center’s legislation page also offers inventories from previous General Assembly sessions back to 1998, information on how to follow legislation and how to contact your local General Assembly members, and links to other natural-resource legislation-tracking services.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for February 19 – March 5, 2021; Including Information on the 2021 Virginia General Assembly

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 STATEWIDE AUTHORITIES, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, AND COMMITTEES

2/23/21, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://mrc.virginia.gov/calendar.shtm on the day of the meeting.

2/26/21, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6660221729320481296.

3/1/21, 1 p.m.: Outdoors Foundation/Special Forestry Committee.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://zoom.us/j/96135235171.

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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/.

January 13 – late February, 2020: Virginia General Assembly, Richmond.  Current status is available online at this link.  The 2021 General Assembly convened on January 13 and was initially scheduled for 30 days, a so-called “short session,” which is held in all odd-numbered years.  Often, short sessions are extended by the Assembly to 46 days; any session may be extended for up to 30 days.  “Long sessions” of 60 days are held in even-numbered years.  On February 4, Gov. Ralph Northam called for a special session of the Assembly to begin on February 10 and extend the overall session to 46 days (earlier in 2021, the Assembly failed to approve a session extension).  A reconvened (“veto”) session is held on the sixth Wednesday after adjournment of each regular or special session.  During long sessions, the Commonwealth’s budget for the upcoming two years is set; amendments to the current biennial budget may be considered both in short and long sessions.  More information about the Assembly’s normal schedule and duration is available in “About the General Assembly,” online at this link.

The General Assembly’s main Web page, 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.  Streaming of floor sessions is available at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php for the House and http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 for the Senate.

Committees are key parts of the General Assembly process.  Legislation about water or about activities that can affect water may be assigned to any of several standing committees, most of which meet weekly during the General Assembly session.  Streaming of House committee meetings is available online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/committees/commstream.html; streaming of Senate committee meetings is available online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3.  Two committees that receive many (but not all) of the water-related bills are the House Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Wednesdays at 1 p.m., electronically in 2021 (livestream online at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/committees/commstream.html)l and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which meets weekly on Tuesdays, one-half hour after adjournment of the day’s floor session, in the East Committee Room of the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond (during the 2021 session).  Information about all standing committees as of the 2021 session—including membership, meeting times, and legislation being considered—is available online at https://lis.virginia.gov/211/com/COM.HTM.

To express an opinion on legislation, citizens are requested to contact their respective delegate of senator.  If you do not know your representatives or their contact information, you can use the online “Who’s My Legislator” service, available at http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.

You can find members’ contact information at these links:

House of Delegates, at http://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/members/members.php;

State Senate, at https://apps.senate.virginia.gov/Senator/.

The Lobbyist-In-A-Box subscriber service also offers free tracking for up to five bills, and it offers tracking of more than five bills for a fee; visit http://lis.virginia.gov/h015.htm.  For assistance, phone Legislative Automated Systems at (804) 786-9631.

The organization Open Virginia’s Richmond Sunlight Web site, at https://www.richmondsunlight.com/, also offers tools for following the General Assembly and for learning about Virginia law.

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

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

2/23/21, 3 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairments in the South Fork Rivanna River and tributaries, located in the James River basin in Albemarle County.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/403771421, or dial in to (408) 650-3123, access code 403-771-421.

2/23/21, 5:30 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the McClure River and tributaries Big Spraddle Branch, Buffalo Creek, and Roaring Fork, all in the Pound River/Russell Fork/Big Sandy River watershed in Dickenson County.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2540641930495498000.

2/24/21, 3 p.m., on the TMDL study of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) impairments in the James River, Maury River, and Jackson River watersheds.  Thelocalities affected include the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Amherst, Appomattox, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Botetourt, Buckingham, Campbell, Chesterfield, Craig, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Giles, Goochland, Greene, Hanover, Henrico, Highland, Montgomery, Nelson, Powhatan, and Roanoke; and the cities of Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Covington, Lexington, Lynchburg, and Richmond.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/997151765.

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MEETINGS ON OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Biosolids (Treated Wastewater Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests

2/23/21, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by Nutriblend, Inc., of Richmond, Va., to land-apply biosolids to about 3120 additional acres in Amelia County.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4642752032551885327.  People wishing to attend the meeting by telephone, without internet access, should contact Stephanie Bowman at (540) 598-0453 prior to the meeting date.

Chesapeake Bay/Coastal Flooding and Resilience

2/24/21, 10:30 a.m.: Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act – Resilience Guidance Document Project Modeling, Research and Analysis Workgroup.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://cwm.zoom.us/j/98697347226?pwd=N0hSbUVQOW43cnRwWnJHZDR2aGM1QT09, meeting ID: 986 9734 7226, passcode: 245427.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting: “As part of a grant from the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program the Virginia Institute for Marine Science (VIMS) Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM) and the Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) at William and Mary Law School are collaborating with the Virginia Department of Environment Quality to develop guidance for implementation of climate adaptation activities and measures under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA).  To support this work, VIMS will provide scientific research, compile studies on the effects on water quality of different remedial approaches to flooding, and assess the sustainability of proposed adaptation actions, natural resource mitigation options and innovative new approaches that may be considered.  Stakeholder input on this portion of the project will be provided through a Modeling, Research and Analysis Workgroup.”

2/19/21 to 2/26/21: meetings of the Secretary of Natural Resources’ Technical Advisory Committee on the Virginia Coastal Resilience Master Planning Framework.

2/19/21, 9 a.m.: Federal Installation Partnerships Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/4cfraflr, or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 508 7006.

2/19/21, 4 p.m.: Community Outreach Subcommittee; Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/29hpmxlj, or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 080 5393.

2/22/21, 10 a.m.: Finance Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/wrjdmks8; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 492 3192.

2/22/21, 11 a.m.: Studies, Research, and Best Practices Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/ezsnp3u6; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 285 9627.

2/22/21, 12 p.m.: Evaluation Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/42ltrcj5; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 780 5371.

2/22/21, 3 p.m.: Economic Development Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/yptqzrrj; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code 185 197 1819.

2/23/21, 11 a.m.: Project Identification Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/1vmol2az; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 406 5906.

2/26/21, 8 a.m.: full Committee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://tinyurl.com/4zsm2aq3; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 449 7772.

More information on the Coastal Resilience Master Plan is available online at https://www.naturalresources.virginia.gov/initiatives/resilience/masterplan/.

Waterworks/Drinking Water or Wastewater Works Regulations

2/22/21, 10 a.m.: Department of Health workgroup on PFAS contamination in drinking water/policy and regulation subgroup.  Electronic meeting; citizens who wish to attend virtually should contact Kris Latino at (804) 864-7372 or christine.latino@vdh.virginia.gov for login information.  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 2-15-21: Factors that Influence a Person’s Trust in Their Water

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of February 15, 2021, is “Exploring Customers’ Trust in Their Water Utility.”  The 4 min./42 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/02/episode-564-2-15-21-exploring-customers.html, features guest voice Maddy Grupper, an August 2020 master’s graduate from Virginia Tech, talking about her research into factors that influence the trust customers have in their water utility and in their drinking water.

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 2-8-21: An Early-calling Frog in Virginia’s Coastal Plain

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of February 8, 2021, is “Spring Beckons When Brimley’s Chorus Frogs Start Calling.”  The 3 min./30 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/02/episode-563-2-8-21-spring-beckons-when.html, focuses on a small amphibian whose mating call is an early sound of spring in southeastern Virginia.

Brimley’s Chorus Frog, photographed in Chesapeake, Virginia, February 28, 2019.  Photo by iNaturalist user jkleopfer, made available online at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/20834796 (as of 2-8-21) for use under Creative Commons license “Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0.”  Information about this Creative Commons license is available online at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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 January 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 January 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 January 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.

LocationJanuary 2021 ObservedMonthly NormalFeb. 2020- Jan. 2021 ObservedAnnual Normal
Blacksburg3.623.0860.1040.89  
Bluefield1  3.472.9053.6139.63
Bristol2  3.573.3756.6741.01
Charlottesville3  2.042.7749.0442.71
Danville  3.573.4257.0744.41
Lynchburg  3.813.1469.5641.57
Norfolk  3.813.4056.5646.53
Reagan National Airport41.932.8156.4839.74
Richmond  3.583.0463.5143.60
Roanoke  4.182.9263.5741.25
Wallops Island5  3.523.0449.4140.84
Washington-Dulles Airport61.882.6848.0141.54

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

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

The normal values used by the National Weather Service (NWS) in these provisional reports are based on the period from 1981 to 2010.  The National Climatic Data Center (now the National Centers for Environmental Information) released these normal values in July 2011.  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 January 31, 2020.  Please note that the scale is different for the 60-day regional map.


Shown below is a color-coded percentile map of monthly average stream flow values for January 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 89 Virginia sites during the 45-day period ending January 30, 2020, accessed on February 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 3:21 p.m. EST on February 1, 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/) for January 26, 2021, categorized 0.02% of Virginia as abnormally dry.  This was the Drought Monitor’s first indication of any level of drought in Virginia since the report for August 11, 2020.

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

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

For comparison, here are Virginia ratings from previous Drought Monitors from about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:

12/29/20 – drought-free;
11/24/20 – drought-free;
10/27/20 – drought-free;
1/28/20 – 1.81% abnormally dry.

DROUGHT ELSEWHERE

The January 26, 2021, U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 54.7% of the United States (including parts of 43 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 27.1% 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 for the week of August 7, 2012.)

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

12/29/20 – 57.0% abnormally dry or worse; 28.6% severe drought or worse;
11/24/20 – 58.2% abnormally dry or worse; 26.8% severe drought or worse;
10/27/20 – 56.0% abnormally dry or worse; 25.0% severe drought or worse;
1/28/20 – 23.9% abnormally dry or worse, 2.0% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area categorized by the January 26, 2021, Drought Monitor as being in severe-or-worse drought:

Arizona = 97%;
California = 76%;
Colorado = 91%;
Nevada = 93%;
New Mexico = 100% (99.6%);
North Dakota = 58%;
Oregon = 60%;
Utah = 98%;
Wyoming = 68%.

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 February 1, 2021.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 2-1-21: Some Water-related Legislation in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of February 1, 2021, is “Voting on Water in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly.”  The 5 min./3 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/02/episode-562-2-1-21-voting-on-water-in.html, is Water Radio’s annual episode giving listeners a chance to consider how they’d vote on several water-related measures in the current General Assembly session. The episode features music by Carbon Leaf of Richmond, Va.

Virginia Senate floor session on January 29, 2019, being held at a pavilion at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.  Image taken as screen shot from Senate livestream archive, accessed online at http://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3, 2/1/21.

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 1-25-21: Northern Harriers Fly and Hunt Across Marshes and Grasslands

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of January 25, 2021, is “The Northern Harrier’s a Hawk on the Marsh.”  The 4 min./4 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/01/episode-561-1-25-21-northern-harriers.html, focuses on a raptor seen in winter in coastal Virginia, flying low over marshes and grasslands as it hunts small mammals and other prey. The episode features music by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va., and Bob Gramann of Fredericksburg, Va.

Painting of Marsh Hawk (former common name for Northern Harrier), originally published between 1827 and 1838 by John James Audubon in Birds of America (plate 356).  Image made available for public use by the National Audubon Society, online at https://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america; specific URL for this image was https://www.audubon.org/birds-of-america/marsh-hawk, as of 1-22-21.

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!