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PE Board Talks Drought Status

PRINCE EDWARD – While the state has elevated from a “drought watch” to a “drought warning” for the Appomattox River basin, the change will mean little for Prince Edward.

“Basically, this will not require any additional action on the part of the County because, just like a drought watch…all of the requests by the state-and according to our drought response plan-are voluntary,” detailed County Administrator Wade Bartlett at Tuesday night's Board of Supervisors meeting. “So…the board can maintain the 'drought watch' status if they so desire or you could, I guess, declare a drought warning to follow the state.”

Supervisors took no further action.

It has been a hot, dry summer already for Prince Edward. County supervisors met in a called meeting August 1 and approved a drought watch advisory. At that time, two of three drought indicators had been met: precipitation is more than ten inches below normal for the year; the flow of the Appomattox River has been consistently below the 25th percentile (and, for several days below the 10th percentile); and ground water levels-as measured at the state monitoring well in neighboring Buckingham County-were at 27.44 feet or between the 10th and 25th percentile.

While the change from watch to warning isn't much of a difference, Bartlett said it's more of a notification to the citizens that there's still an issue.

Bartlett noted that the river flow has increased somewhat, offering that the last he looked it was at 19 cubic feet, which he said is “more than enough to handle the Town's issues.” The monitoring well, he also told the board, has fallen almost a half a foot since July 31. Precipitation is still more than 10 inches below normal, even with some of the recent rains.