ABRA prepares landowners to monitor water

One way to make sure you know your water is clean and drinkable is to learn to monitor it yourself. The Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance has compiled some guidelines for landowners and water providers who are concerned about how pipeline development could impact water supplies. The report, Guidance for Monitoring effects of Gas Pipeline Development on Surface Water and Groundwater Supplies was prepared by Downstream Strategies. Downstream Strategies is based in Alderson and Morgantown West Virginia and has been working since 1997 to use its interdisciplinary skills to protect the environment and link economic development with stewardship of natural resources. Allegheny Blue-Ridge Alliance, and its member organizations were the sponsors of this report.The guide is now available to the public for free.  The new report provides information concerning:

Risks, potential impacts, and other water supply issues related to pipeline development;

Collection of data needed to hold pipeline developers responsible for harm to water supplies;

Methods for establishing baseline information on water quantity and quality and for long-term monitoring to detect change; and

Laboratories and Consultants that conduct monitoring and analysis.

Some of those risks mentioned toward the beginning of the report are: excavated or eroded soils leading to landslides and sedimentation, diminished habitat for fish and macroinvertebrates, and reduced flow and quality due to blasting and grading. The report also provides lots of color illustrations and charts to show what steps to follow when in monitoring methods. It concludes with procedures, and necessary tools for establishing a baseline of information about your own water source, and for regular monitoring.

For landowners the guide describes a tiered approach to water supply monitoring that incorporates collection of defensible data by water resource professionals and landowner collection of early-detection data.

A benefit of the guide for water providers is to document likely contaminants and possible impacts to source water from pipeline development, which could affect treatment processes or post-treatment drinking water sold to community customers.

The photographs and the charts in the report illustrate some information that is specific to the Mountain Valley and the Atlantic Coast Pipelines, but much of the information about monitoring applies to any landowners and water providers who may be impacted by pipeline development anywhere.

To look more closely at the whole guide visit www.abraalliance.org, or visit your local library, where printed versions will be available.

The information in this report was provided by the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, and from parts of the new report, Guidance for Monitoring Water Supplies by Downstream Strategies.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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