Water Management and “Cause and Effect”

Leesburg District Supervisor Burk has a short and strong letter in the Loudoun Times-Mirror and on Leesburg Patch this week. In it, she briefly lays out the long-term economic case for managing our water quality in a natural manner, rather than through expensive industrial solutions.

Environmental protection and economic development are linked.  The protection of water resources is itself a powerful economic engine, which will allow businesses locating in Loudoun to be assured of a clean and reliable water supply.  Clean water frees up our limited funding resources, so therefore, will allow the County to spend money on other areas rather than on chemical refinement and increased infrastructure.

Storm water treatment alone is estimated to need millions of dollars in improvements to holding tanks and conveyance piping.  However, Jim Gordon of Westfair, Inc. suggests in his article, “Rich in Water,” that it is foolhardy to recommend spending that money since the structure sits unused most of the time.  Instead, the county should be examining green solutions such as engineered wetlands as bio-filters and holding ponds and other measures which could provide open space and other benefits like cleaner air, higher property values and reduced energy usage.  Some of these very solutions can be found in the water protection CPAM we currently are reviewing in the Transportation and Land Use Committee. – Supervisor Kelly Burk

Supervisor Burk has made a career out of this kind of long-term thinking an planning. Not only will bio-filters for our water help keep it cleaner, it will help the County economically by reducing the water management spending necessary in future years.

It is for reasons like this that the County has a comprehensive plan, and why I am glad Supervisor Burk is doing a great job managing to that plan.