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Water Supply Planning Program


The Commonwealth of Virginia is rich in water resources, both in terms of number and diversity. However, as the impacts of the recent drought have demonstrated this resource cannot be taken for granted. The Commonwealth and its localities must work together to manage and protect our water resources to meet long term human and environmental needs. Improved coordination of drought response and water resources management activities at the local, regional and state levels are essential to guaranteeing the adequacy of Virginia's water supplies to meeting the current and future needs of Virginia's citizens in an environmentally sound manner.


The Code of Virginia, as amended by Senate Bill 1221 in 2003 (Section 62.1-44.38:1) requires the development of a comprehensive statewide water supply planning process to (1) ensure that adequate and safe drinking water is available to all citizens of the Commonwealth, (2) encourage, promote, and protect all other beneficial uses of the commonwealth's water resources, and (3) encourage, promote, and develop incentives for alternative water sources, including, but not limited to desalinization.  

The regulation affecting the development of water supply plans in the Commonwealth is the Local and Regional Water Supply Planning Regulation (9VAC25-780), which became effective on November 2, 2005. The regulation requires that all counties, cities, and towns in the Commonwealth of Virginia submit a local water supply plan or participate in a regional planning unit in the submittal of a regional water supply plan to the State Water Control Board.

Status of Water Supply Plans

All water supply plans were found compliant with conditions.  These conditions must be addressed by the end of 2018.  Planners are currently working with localities to ensure they meet this deadline.

Local and Regional Water Supply Planning Requirements

The regulation details the information to be included in a region's/locality's water supply plan, including:

  • Existing Water Source Information
  • Existing Water Use Information;
  • Existing Resource Information
  • Water Demand Management, or current conservation practices;
  • Drought Response and Contingency Plans
  • Projected Water Demand Information
  • Statement of Need based on the adequacy of existing water sources to meet current and projected water demand over the planning period (a minimum of 30 years to a maximum of 50 years).
  • The program was designed as a statewide partnership, localities having the lead role in identifying their future demands and the state providing technical support and oversight.

Role of State in Development of Local and Regional Water Supply Plans

To assist local governments in the development of local programs, the State will: provide technical and financial assistance; provide guidance on compliance options; facilitate acquisition of existing resource conditions information; facilitate acquisition of existing use information that has been reported to the DEQ; facilitate acquisition of water management information; identify acceptable methods for the projection of future water demands; provide any information regarding known conflicts relating to the development of alternatives; at the request of the applicant, convene a technical evaluation committee meeting; and provide notice of local public hearings on the local programs upon notification by the locality.

Effective Date of Regulations

The Effective Date of the Local and Regional Water Supply Planning Regulation (9VAC25-780) was November 2, 2005.

Water Supply Planning Staff:

Scott W. Kudlas, Director, Office of Water Supply

Trevor Lawson, Water Supply Planner

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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