On December 13, 2017, Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced agreements between the Commonwealth and large groundwater-user permit holders in eastern Virginia to reduce permitted withdrawals.
Below is an excerpt from the Governor’s Office news release on the agreement, Governor McAuliffe Announces Agreements to Protect Virginia’s Aquifers; New permits will support future growth and ensure continued access to clean water, 12/13/17:
“Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced agreements to limit groundwater withdrawals from the Commonwealth’s at-risk coastal aquifers. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will issue new permits for 14 major groundwater users in eastern Virginia, reducing total allowable withdrawals by 69 million gallons a day. …Since 1992, the DEQ has reviewed requests to withdraw large quantities of groundwater in the coastal plain. Permits are issued to industry, municipal water supplies, agriculture, and large residential developments. Over pumping has led to significant groundwater declines, measured land subsidence, and increasing saltwater intrusion. …When Governor McAuliffe took office, permits had been issued allowing for the withdrawal of 146 million gallons of groundwater per day. By working with the Commonwealth, the permittees found ways to reduce their allowable consumption by as much as 52 percent.”
Following is a link to a news media article on the permits agreement: State reaches deals with large water users to preserve aquifers, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/15/17.
Information from the DEQ on water withdrawal (both groundwater and surface water) is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/WaterWithdrawalPermittingandCompliance.aspx; information specifically on groundwater withdrawal management areas and permits is available online at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/WaterSupplyWaterQuantity/WaterWithdrawalPermittingandCompliance/GroundwaterWithdrawalPermitsFees.aspx.