Questions to Explore This Week
- what are the watersheds of Northern Virginia, and why should we care?
- how did well water get into the ground of Northern Virginia?
- where does Northern Virginia get its drinking water now... and will there be enough in the future?
- what contaminants threaten the quality of drinking water in Northern Virginia?
- can Four Mile Run be restored?
1) The Watersheds of George Mason University
- What is a "Watershed"
- The Potomac and Chesapeake Bay Watershed
- find the watershed in which GMU's fairfax campus is located (go to My Neighborhood application; GMU's address is 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030)
- note how the map of Fairfax County watersheds shows other jurisdictions - but watershed boundaries do not match up with many city/county boundaries
2) Ground Water in Virginia
- Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system
- "What Is Ground Water" Fact Sheet
- The Water Cycle: Ground-Water Discharge
- Groundwater Basics
- check out the interactive map of Ground-Water Conditions, Potomac River Basin (see explanation of graph)
3) Sources of Northern Virginia Drinking Water
- Metropolitan Washington Region Water Supply Agencies
- About the City's Water System
- Falls Church Sues Fairfax Water Authority
- Judge dismisses Falls Church water rights case
- Executive Summary: Drinking Water Supply In The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area: Prospects And Options For The 21st Century
- Effects of Urban Sprawl on the Water Resources of Northern Virginia
- The Occoquan Reservoir
- The Occoquan Watershed
- Washington Aqueduct
- think Virginia jurisdictions could decide on their own how to share water, in a drought? In the water-short western states, where whiskey is just for drinking and it's water that's worth fighting over, state water engineers (and lawsuits in courts) determine how much water can be withdrawn by different users. The Colorado River and other western rivers runs through multiple states, so many of the water allocation decisions are made by Federal officials/courts. Fairfax draws much of its water from the Potomac River... so do you think drought plans need to involve non-Virginia jurisdictions?
4) Threats to Water Quality in Northern Virginia... And What to Do About Them
- Fairfax Water Annual Report on Water Quality - 2007
- Section 303(d) List Fact Sheet for Watershed MIDDLE POTOMAC-ANACOSTIA-OCCOQUAN
- Deadline to Clean Chesapeake By 2010 Probably Won't Be Met
- City of Manassas Water Quality Report - 2007
- Fulfilling the Promise: The Occoquan Watershed in the New Millennium (read "History Of The Reservoir And Events Leading To The 1982 Downzoning" on pages 5-10)
- Kingstowne Stream Restoration Project
- Snakeden Branch Streambank Stabilization Project
- Storm Drainage System
5) Four Mile Run Restoration Project in Arlington County
- Four Mile Run Restoration Project Brochure
- Program History
- At Four Mile Run, Restoring Nature
- Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan (read pages 1-4, 15-19)
REMINDER: Quiz 3 will be posted on Blackboard on Saturday!