Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for June 25 – July 9, 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

6/25/21, 10 a.m.: Council on Environmental Justice.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/vcej62521; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 910 8722.

6/28/21, 2 p.m.: Secretary of Natural Resources’ Tree Conservation Work Group.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://virginia.zoom.us/j/99504851693, meeting ID: 995 0485 1693, passcode: 842509; or dial in to (470) 381-2552.

6/29/21, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At The Westin Richmond, 6631 West Broad Street in Richmond.

6/29/21, 1 p.m.: Noxious Weed Advisory Committee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://covaconf.webex.com/covaconf/onstage/g.php?MTID=e25a2a662742c5f55cc75150d255dd9fa, event number: 161 855 9468, event password: u2kCJX9Jpg2; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code: 161 855 9468.

7/1/21, 9 a.m.: Pesticide Fee Regulatory Advisory Board.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://covaconf.webex.com/covaconf/onstage/g.php?MTID=e937aff87df521b4f41e4a9947367134d, event number: 185 965 9329, event password: JpJev22tM2c; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code 185 965 9329.

7/6/21, 10 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board.  At The Westin Richmond, 6631 West Broad Street in Richmond.

7/8/21, 9:30 a.m.: Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators and Onsite Sewage System Professionals.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.  The Board’s Education and Training Committee meets at 9 a.m. that day at the same location.

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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/.

None during this period.

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

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

6/29/21, 2 p.m., on the TDML study of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) impairment in Lewis Creek, located in the South River/South Fork Shenandoah River watershed in Augusta County and the City of Staunton.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8312292928221314059.

6/29/21, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Lynch Creek and Reed Creek in Campbell and Pittsylvania counties, in the Roanoke River watershed.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4723207698849803021.

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MEETINGS ON SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Air-Water Connections

6/28/21, 6:30 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft amendment to the air-emissions permit for the Teal-Jones Pine Products, LLC, lumber mill in Henry County, involving a change in status from a minor air-emission source to a major source as a result of building a continuous dry kiln.  At the Henry County Administration Building, Summerlin Meeting Room, 3300 Kings Mountain Road in Martinsville.

7/9/21, 6 p.m.: Air Pollution Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality public hearing on a draft amendment to the new source review permit for Volvo Group North America LLC in Dublin (Pulaski County).  At the Pulaski County Public Library, 60 West Third Street in Pulaski.

Biosolids (Treated Wastewater Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests

6/29/21, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by Recyc Systems, Inc., of Remington, Va., to land-apply biosolids to about 316 additional acres in Hanover County.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6616162101647705359.

Flooding – Coastal

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

6/28/21, 10 a.m.: Finance Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/1s65r; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 161 631 2577.

6/28/21, 2:30 p.m.: Aligning Economic Development Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/iayll, or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 161 620 9436.

Groundwater

6/28/21, 10 a.m.: Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Advisory Committee.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7262368174020637966.  The 2015 Virginia General Assembly passed HB 1924 and SB 1341, companion bills that established this Advisory Committee to assist the State Water Commission and the DEQ in developing, revising, and implementing a management strategy for groundwater in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area.  The Committee was reestablished by SB 679 in the 2020 General Assembly.  More information about the Advisory Committee is available online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/water/water-quantity/advisory-committees/eastern-virginia-groundwater-management-advisory-committee.

6/30/21, 12 p.m.: Potomac Aquifer Recharge Oversight Committee.  Electronic meeting; limited Zoom observation available by reservation on a first come, first served basis; request must be received by Ted Henifin at thenifin@hrsd.com by 4:30 pm on June 29, 2021.  According to the Regulatory Town Hall notice for this meeting, this Committee was established pursuant to House Bill 2358 in the 2019 Virginia General Assembly.  It’s responsible for ensuring independent monitoring of the SWIFT Project, including its effect on the Potomac Aquifer.  SWIFT is the Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow Project, which is being conducted by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District.

Mining

6/29/21, 9 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) assessment conference to review several civil penalty assessments Black River Coal, LLC.  The mine site or sites is not identified in the Regulatory Town Hall notice.  Call-in conference: (208) 925-0069, PIN: 346 372 592#.

Waste Management – Solid Waste

6/30/21, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel on Solid Waste Management Regulation – Amendment 9.  Electronic meeting; access information to be announced at a later date, as of 6/16/21.  This panel is assisting the DEQ in his is considering Amendment 9 to the Solid Waste Management Regulation; the relevant section in the Virginia Administrative Code in 9 VAC 20-81.

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!

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for June 18 – July 2, 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

6/22/21, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission. At 380 Fenwick Road in Ft. Monroe (adjacent to the City of Hampton).

6/22/21, 10 a.m.: Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://meet.google.com/sgu-czpc-tcb, or dial in to (617) 675-4444, PIN: 744 995 283 9582#.

6/23/21, 8 a.m.: Commonwealth Transportation Board’s Environmental Subcommittee.  At the VDOT Central Office, 1221 East East Broad Street in Richmond.

6/24/21, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation.  At Machicomoco State Park, 3601 Timberneck Farm Road in Hayes (Gloucester County).

6/25/21, 10 a.m.: Council on Environmental Justice.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/vcej62521; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 185 910 8722.

6/29/21, 10 a.m.: State Water Control Board.  At The Westin Richmond, 6631 West Broad Street in Richmond.

6/29/21, 1 p.m.: Noxious Weed Advisory Committee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://covaconf.webex.com/covaconf/onstage/g.php?MTID=e25a2a662742c5f55cc75150d255dd9fa, event number: 161 855 9468, event password: u2kCJX9Jpg2; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code: 161 855 9468.

7/1/21, 9 a.m.: Pesticide Fee Regulatory Advisory Board.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://covaconf.webex.com/covaconf/onstage/g.php?MTID=e937aff87df521b4f41e4a9947367134d, event number: 185 965 9329, event password: JpJev22tM2c; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code 185 965 9329.

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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/.

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.

6/24/21, 1 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Sand Branch in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, in the Potomac River watershed.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/293760621; or dial in to (408) 650-3123, access Code: 293-760-621.

6/29/21, 2 p.m., on the TDML study of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) impairment in Lewis Creek, located in the South River/South Fork Shenandoah River watershed in Augusta County and the City of Staunton.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8312292928221314059.

6/29/21, 6 p.m., on the TMDL study of aquatic life (benthic) impairment in Lynch Creek and Reed Creek in Campbell and Pittsylvania counties, in the Roanoke River watershed.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4723207698849803021.

*          *          *

MEETINGS ON SPECIFIC TOPICS
(topics listed alphabetically)

Air-Water Connections

6/28/21, 6:30 p.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on a draft amendment to the air-emissions permit for the Teal-Jones Pine Products, LLC, lumber mill in Henry County, involving a change in status from a minor air-emission source to a major source as a result of building a continuous dry kiln.  At the Henry County Administration Building, Summerlin Meeting Room, 3300 Kings Mountain Road in Martinsville.

Biosolids (Treated Wastewater Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests

6/21/21, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by Synagro, Central, LLC, of Champlain, Va., to land-apply biosolids to about 1059 acres, including about 302 acres of new land, in King George County.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7153133894150846992.

6/22/21, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by Recyc Systems, Inc., of Remington, Va., to land-apply biosolids to about 6067 acres, including about 1826 acres of new land, in Albemarle County.  Electronic meeting; access information online https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3130394682072103696.

6/29/21, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by Recyc Systems, Inc., of Remington, Va., to land-apply biosolids to about 316 additional acres in Hanover County.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6616162101647705359.

Flooding – Coastal

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

6/22/21, 10 a.m.: Project ID Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/xynuj, or dial in to (866) 692-4530, access code: 161 250 9306.

6/22/21, 1 p.m.: full Committee.  Electronic meeting, access online at https://governor.virginia.gov/i/hly56; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 161 264 0415.

6/28/21, 10 a.m.: Finance Subcommittee.  Electronic meeting; access online at Register here: https://governor.virginia.gov/i/1s65r; or dial in to (866) 692-4530, event code: 161 631 2577.

Groundwater

6/22/21, 9 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) technical advisory committee on a General Permit for Use of Surficial Aquifer in a Groundwater Management Area.  Electronic meeting; access online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4404556033439388428, Webinar ID 608-941-483.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-920.  More information on this regulatory process is available online at https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/viewchapter.cfm?chapterid=2992.

6/28/21, 10 a.m.: Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Advisory Committee.  Electronic meeting; access information online at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7262368174020637966.  The 2015 Virginia General Assembly passed HB 1924 and SB 1341, companion bills that established this Advisory Committee to assist the State Water Commission and the DEQ in developing, revising, and implementing a management strategy for groundwater in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area.  The Committee was reestablished by SB 679 in the 2020 General Assembly.  More information about the Advisory Committee is available online at https://www.deq.virginia.gov/water/water-quantity/advisory-committees/eastern-virginia-groundwater-management-advisory-committee.

Mining

6/29/21, 9 a.m.: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) assessment conference to review several civil penalty assessments Black River Coal, LLC.  The mine site or sites is not identified in the Regulatory Town Hall notice.  Call-in conference: (208) 925-0069, PIN: 346 372 592#.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions

6/23/21, 1 p.m.: Rappahannock River Basin Commission.  At Warsaw Town Hall, Council Chambers, 78 Belle Ville Lane in Warsaw (Richmond County).  Draft agenda online (as a PDF) at https://lis.virginia.gov/211/oth/Agenda.RRB.6.23.21Draft1.pdf.  Meeting information online at https://rrbcnews.wordpress.com/meetings-events/.  The Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly (see Va. Code section 62.1-69.27) to “provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin.”  More information on the work of the Commission is available online at http://rappriverbasin.org/.

Waste Management – Solid Waste

6/30/21, 9:30 a.m.: Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Regulatory Advisory Panel on Solid Waste Management Regulation – Amendment 9.  Electronic meeting; access information to be announced at a later date, as of 6/16/21.  This panel is assisting the DEQ in his is considering Amendment 9 to the Solid Waste Management Regulation; the relevant section in the Virginia Administrative Code in 9 VAC 20-81.

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!

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 6-7-21: The 2021 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season is Here

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of June 7, 2021, is “Ana’s May Arrival Opens the 2021 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Season.”  The 5 min./5 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/06/episode-580-6-7-21-anas-may-arrival.html, is Water Radio’s annual look ahead to the Atlantic season (officially June 1-November 30) for hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions. The episode includes music composed for Virginia Water Radio by Torrin Hallett, a recent graduate of the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.

Predictions for the 2021 Atlantic tropical storm season.  Graphic from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “NOAA Predicts Another Active Atlantic Hurricane Season,” 5/20/21, online at https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/noaa-predicts-another-active-atlantic-hurricane-season.

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 May 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 May 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 May 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.

LocationMay 2021 ObservedMonthly NormalJune 2020- May 2021 ObservedAnnual Normal based on 1991-2020
Blacksburg2.904.4749.4042.64  
Bluefield  2.054.6142.9441.24
Bristol  2.243.8244.7343.97
Charlottesville  0.904.1746.6341.61
Danville  0.63 RL4.7348.8743.73
Lynchburg  1.703.9862.0342.76
Norfolk  2.263.7853.1049.18
Reagan National Airport3.773.9456.6041.82
Richmond  2.334.0063.3345.50
Roanoke  1.934.3150.2342.82
Wallops Island  2.553.2049.6243.25
Washington-Dulles Airport2.874.7246.5243.24

RL = record monthly low for the location and month of the year.

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 May 30, 2021.  [Please note that the scale is different for the 60-day regional map and for the Virginia 30-day map.]

Shown below is a color-coded percentile map of monthly average stream flow values for May 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 May 31, 2021, accessed on June 2, 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 7:41 p.m. EDT on May 31, 2021.  The current map is available online at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/forecasts.php; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Information on current groundwater levels in Virginia monitoring wells is available from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Information System, online at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/va/nwis/current/?type=gw.

DROUGHT IN VIRGINIA

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) report of conditions as of May 25, 2021, categorized about 98.2% of Virginia as abnormally dry and about 5.3% of the Commonwealth in moderate drought.  This was the Drought Monitor’s first report of moderate drought in Virginia since the report for conditions on August 4, 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 for conditions as about one month, two months, three months, and one year ago:

4/27/21 – drought-free;

3/30/21 – 7.9% abnormally dry;

3/2/21 – drought-free;

5/26/20 – drought-free.

Following are the comments from two Drought Monitor reports on conditions in Virginia:

From 5/20/21, report (conditions as of 5/18/21)

“Over the past 60 to 90 days, Virginia and the Carolinas have continued to dry out.  With D3-D4 equivalent 30-day SPIs [Standard Precipitation Index], USGS 7-day average stream flows falling below normal (10th to 24th percentile), and with having received 25 to 50 percent of normal precipitation…, D0 was expanded into the mountains of southwestern Virginia and northwestern North Carolina, and northward across northeastern North Carolina into the Tidewater.”

From 5/27/21, report (conditions as of 5/25/21)

“Average temperature anomalies ranged from 4°F to 6°F above-normal in northern Virginia to 2°F to 4°F below-normal southward from South Carolina to Florida.  Despite cooler than normal conditions for many southern areas of the Southeast, there were a few very warm days along the eastern seaboard, with highs reaching into the low-to-mid 90s, further exacerbating the increasing dryness over the past 60 to 90 days, particularly across Virginia and the Carolinas.  Additionally, little to no precipitation was observed across most of the Southeast this week.   …D1 (moderate drought) was expanded to cover much of eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.  D0 (abnormal dryness) was also expanded farther westward from Virginia toward the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, as short-term dryness has begun to diminish stream flows (falling below the 24th percentile) in those areas.”

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 May 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 May 25, 2021, the U.S. Drought Monitor categorized about 54.8% of the United States (including parts of 46 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 25.2% of the country (including parts of 21 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:

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;

3/2/21 – 55.0% abnormally dry or worse; 25.8% severe drought or worse;

5/26/20 – 28.9% abnormally dry or worse, 6.0% severe drought or worse.

The following states had 50% or more of their land area, as of May 25, 2021, categorized by the Drought Monitor as being in severe-or-worse drought:

Arizona = 95%.

California = 95%.

Nevada = 94%.

New Mexico = 95%.

North Dakota = 93%.

Oregon = 72%,

Utah = 98%.

Following are comments from two Drought Monitor reports on drought conditions in the western United States.

From 5/13/21 Nationwide Summary (conditions as of 5/11/21): “This U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week saw deterioration in drought-related conditions on the map across areas of the West, including California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Montana.  Moving into dry season, California is expecting drought impacts to intensify during the summer months as snowpack runoff is forecasted to be below normal and reservoir storage levels at the state’s two largest reservoirs (Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville) are at 48% and 41% of average, respectively.  In response to the deteriorating conditions, [Calif.] Governor Newsom expanded the coverage of his recent drought emergency declaration to include an additional 39 counties statewide.  In the Southwest, Lake Powell is currently 35% full and Lake Mead is 38% full with the total Lower Colorado system at 43% full (compared to 52% full at the same time last year) as of May 10, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.  In New Mexico, the state’s largest reservoir along the Rio Grande is currently at 12% full.  In Arizona, the Salt River Project is reporting the Salt River system reservoirs at 79% full, the Verde River system at 32% full, and the total reservoir system at 73% full (compared to 98% full a year ago).”

From 5/20/21 Nationwide Summary (conditions as of 5/18/21):

“The La Nina signal in the West was evident in the precipitation totals at the end of the climatological wet season in March. The presence of this antecedent dryness has resulted in much below-normal snowpack throughout much of the West, leading to continued drought deterioration since the region began its transition into a climatologically drier time of year during April.”

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 May 31, 2021.

On Virginia Water Radio for the Week of 5-31-21: The Virginia Household Water Quality Program Helps Citizens Know Their Water Better

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of May 31, 2021, is “Water from Wells, Springs, and Cisterns Gets a Check-up through the Virginia Household Water Quality Program.”  The 4 min./56 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/05/episode-579-5-31-21-water-from-wells.html, introduces a Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension program that provides household well-, spring-, and cistern-testing; interpretation of results; and water-management information for Virginia citizens. This revised version of a March 2017 Water Radio episode is part of a series in May 2021 of groundwater-related episodes. The updated version includes music by the Nelson County, Va., band Chamomile and Whiskey.

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 5-24-21: Drilling a Water Well

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of May 24, 2021, is “Water Well Construction is an Ancient and Modern Human Practice.”  The 3 min./51 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/05/episode-578-5-24-21-water-well.html, features sounds of digging deep into the earth to find groundwater. It’s a revised version of a June 2014 episode and continues a series this May-June of revisited groundwater-related episodes. The episode features music by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Va.

Well-drilling rig. Photo taken at a Montgomery County, Va., residential well-drilling project by Fenton Well Drilling and Pump Service of Blacksburg, Va., June 20, 2014.

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 5-17-21: Exploring Thermal Springs, James River Headwaters, and History in Virginia’s Western Highlands

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of May 17, 2021, is “Water’s at the Heart of Virginia’s Western Highlands.”  The 4 min./53 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/05/episode-577-5-17-21-waters-at-heart-of.html, explores the four-county region where the James River starts and where thermal springs have attracted visitors since for centuries. The episode, a revised version of a July 2017 episode, continues a series this May-June of revisited groundwater-related episodes. The episode features music by the Blacksburg, Va.-based group Sweet Chalybeate.

Photo Grouper Warm Springs Water Wheel USED Grouper 7-31-17

Historic water-powered mill wheel on the Waterwheel Restaurant in Warm Springs, Va., July 22, 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 5-10-21: A Sampler of Springs

Virginia Water Radio’s episode for the week of May 10, 2021, is “An Introduction to Springs.”  The 3 min./56 sec. episode, available online at http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/2021/05/episode-576-5-10-21-introduction-to.html, continues a series this May-June of revisited groundwater-related episodes. This week’s episode is a revised version of an August 2011 episode. The new version includes music by the western Virginia group New Standard.

Spring locations in a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality database, as of 2016.  Map accessed at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/GroundwaterCharacterization/SpringDatabase.aspx, on July 28, 2017; the map was no longer available at that URL as of May 11, 2021.

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!