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Henrico Co. Underscores Importance, Vulnerability Of Sandy River Reservoir

Henrico County's decision Tuesday to build, own and operate the $280 million Cobbs Creek Reservoir should surprise nobody. Henrico, like every community, knows that without a dependable water supply, the county would be doomed.

The Cobbs Creek Reservoir, furthermore, has directed the attention of a downstream audience toward our communities and undoubtedly has some of them contemplating our resources. Folks are looking west and thinking about water.

Our water.

The willingness of Henrico to spend a huge amount of money to secure water upstream underscores the vulnerability of the Sandy River Reservoir because of its potential to become the eventual water source for other localities should this community not use it.

There is no way that the Sandy River Reservoir is going to sit unused and unclaimed for very many years. Some day-decades, yes, perhaps, but eventually-and with the help of state or federal agencies and politicians, somebody somewhere is going to be drinking Sandy River Reservoir water from a tap.

Whether it's us or not.

Farfetched?

Of course not. Who would have predicted that Henrico County would some day own a huge 1,100-acre James River-filled reservoir in Cumberland County? But that deal is being done and the message remains clear and present.

There is no more precious or necessary resource than water and those responsible for ensuring their community's long-term survival and prosperity are going to do what is necessary, and legal, to secure that water. New laws, of course, can change what is legal. The General Assembly, remember, is controlled by urban, not rural, Virginia.

These are not alarmist words. The vulnerability of the Sandy River Reservoir's water is real because the need for water is so real, a need that will only grow.

And so the Cobbs Creek Reservoir project also underscores the wisdom of Prince Edward County's decades-old journey toward creation of the Sandy River Reservoir as a water source.

For its own community.

The struggle has been long and hard to create the reservoir and fill it with water-a drought-proof supply. The current Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors is very prudent and wise to continue that journey toward its natural culmination-the means to use the water. The current study into such a project's feasibility-including cost-is vital and will supply facts upon which a decision may be based.

The leadership on this issue by PE Board of Supervisors chairman, William G. Fore (an employee of The Farmville Herald), and his fellow Supervisors is crucial to the community's future.

As Henrico County's willingness to spend millions and millions and millions of dollars for a reservoir in Cumberland County certainly proves.

-JKW-