Pocahontas Water Task Force update

On Tuesday, May 13th, The Pocahontas County Water Resources Task Force Coordinator, Grazia Apolinares, spoke at the Hillsboro Library, updating community members on the project. According to its website, the task force formed in late 2008 when a group of Pocahontas County citizens requested the commission create a countywide water resources management plan.

“Water is a tangible resource, present in every minute of the livelihoods of its members, and this is a gift.”

Originally from Peru, Grazia studied Environmental Policy & Planning at Virginia Tech before joining the Water Resources Task Force in Pocahontas County.

“I’m coming from a place that is a coast, it’s a dry desert, and sometimes I have felt scarcity of water. So for me, living here and seeing the cycles of water is a gift, and it’s due to the uniqueness of being a headwaters county.

“Pocahontas county has a karst topography, and I think the best way of visualizing this concept is to imagine the topography as a sponge, where holes and caverns are built. So water travels really easy and also is extremely fast.

The website has published the detailed Water Resources Management Plan—a compilation of small reports, data, tools, and sub-plans, organized into the four core components of strategic water resource areas, water monitoring plans, assessment tools, and implementation tools.

“A water resource management plan involves a big load of scientific information, used as a tool to understand and better manage the state of the county water. It’s meant to be publicly available by local government agencies, businesses, agencies, farmers, land owners, and all citizens of Pocahontas County.”

“We need a water resources management plan because it’s economically and socially smarter to be proactive rather than reactive. I think that the closest case is the latest Elk spill. We also need an effective water resources management plan because there are advantages to having local input and boots on the ground. It also is important because it requires a level of communication and collaboration all stakeholders and agencies to protect a common resource. And finally because water is a hugely important resource for all of us and should be your pride once we know about it and we know how to take good care of it.”

This summer, the Water Resources Task Force will offer activities to introduce the community to the Water Resources Management Plan. For more information about the project, visit pocahontaswater.org or email pocahontash2o@gmail.com.

“Pocahontas County Resources Management is the only county-wide resources management plan in West Virginia to be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency. And several counties are really interested in what you guys have been doing , and I’m really honored to keep on promoting Pocahontas County on behalf of you all.”

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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