RWSA Developing New Strategies to Keep Reservoirs Full

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Rivanna Reservoir in Albemarle County Rivanna Reservoir in Albemarle County
Bill Mawyer Bill Mawyer

The Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) is trying some new strategies to keep all Albemarle County’s reservoirs full in 2018.

After the drought this fall, the RWSA Board of Directors decided it needed to develop a new plan for transferring water between the reservoirs. The goal is to fill each one up quickly in anticipation of little rain.

The board believes the key to balancing the levels depends on how much water is being pushed from the Sugar Hollow Reservoir into the Ragged Mountain Reservoir.

The new plan will allow the water level at Sugar Hollow to drop no further than 19 feet below the top of the dam during the winter. In the summer, the water is not allowed to drop below 10 feet to give room for evaporation and recreational use of the reservoir.

“We're trying to find a compromise between recreation, water supply, and the environment. We're constantly releasing water from the reservoir to the Moormans River below the dam. So we have the three parts we try to balance," said RWSA Executive Director Bill Mawyer.

Mawyer said if water is overflowing in the South Fork Rivanna Reservoirs Dam, the pumping from Sugar Hollow can slow down.

Currently, South Fork is overflowing, which is a good sign.

Sugar Hollow is 44 percent full right now. The executive director said that will quickly fill in the upcoming weeks.