State officials seek comments on new web-based Tar-Pamlico River Basin water resources plan
RALEIGH –Residents and others interested in water quality and quantity issues in the Tar-Pamlico River Basin are invited to comment on a new, web-based approach to finding basinwide information developed by the N.C. Division of Water Resources.
With the new design, the river basin plans will now be more robust and easier to access as they will be maintained in a web-based structure. Portions of the plans link to various division databases, making it easier to keep information current. This plan also marks the first time one plan integrates water quality and water quantity information. The new design will be used to develop plans for the division’s other 16 river basins, too.
The division is seeking public comments on the plan until Jan. 30, 2015. The plan and a form to share comments can be found at: http://www.ncwater.org/basins/Tar-Pamlico/. Comments may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The plan is divided into several categories: water quantity, water quality, sub-basin assessments, general basin information, reports, interactive maps, and static maps with relevant reports under each category.
Highlights of the Tar-Pamlico River Basin plan include:
· An executive summary that give an overview of the basin and its five sub-watersheds
· Water withdrawals and discharges
· Interactive maps including those that link ambient and biological water quality monitoring locations to data of test results, show types and locations of permitted facilities, and identify public water supplies
· Flood mapping and drought tracking
· Links to the division’s relevant water science reports
The basin plan was written to guide watershed stakeholders, municipal planners, regulators, and other environmental professionals on water quantity needs, water quality stressors and other emerging water issues in the river basin.
The Tar-Pamlico River Basin is the fourth largest river basin in North Carolina and is one of only four river basins whose boundaries are located entirely within the state. The Tar River originates in north central North Carolina in Person, Granville and Vance counties and flows southeast until it reaches tidal waters near Washington and becomes the Pamlico River. It empties into the Pamlico Sound. The entire basin is classified as Nutrient Sensitive Waters, which requires increased restrictions to limit the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus making its way into the basin from many sources.
This is the fifth five-year update of the water quality Tar-Pamlico River basinwide plan and the first plan that has incorporated water quantity issues and model projections.Any major additions or modifications to a basin plan will be presented to the N.C. Environmental Management Commission. Basin plan presentations will be provided to the commission for approval at least once every 10 years by state law, but may be presented to the commission for approval earlier, if requested.