Lake Chesdin level triggers mandatory water restrictions

Posted at 4:48 PM, Aug 16, 2012

DINWIDDIE, Va (WTVR) - As the water level at Lake Chesdin continues to drop, the Appomattox Regional Water Authority has ordered mandatory water restrictions at its meeting Thursday afternoon.

Those restrictions apply to the five localities who receive water from the authority. They include Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties, as well as Colonial Heights and Petersburg.

The water authority implements restrictions when levels reach 60-inches below the dam. Even though levels have not dropped that far yet, the restrictions have been ordered as Lake Chesdin levels have fallen nearly an inch a day.

The move could help slow the rate of decline for the water level, but many believe another change in the amount of water sent down stream is the key to keeping the lake level higher.

Lake Chesdin, built-in the late 1960's, is also the Appomattox River, so if water is not flowing over the dam, it has to by law continue to flow through a spill way.

After the severe drought of 2010, which saw the lake at its lowest level, the amount of water sent through the dam was adjusted to a lesser amount.

Now some want to see the amount reduced again.

The spillway can't be closed, because it was dry up the river between Petersburg and where it emptys into the James River in Hopewell, and it would cut off the water Hopewell uses for their water supply.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality released a "Drought Warning" saying the area in south-central Virginia is under such a precipitation deficit, that a drought is imminent.