My Water Is Our Water
There is NIMBY. Understandably, that is seen as an “all about me” attitude, dismissive of the harm done to others as long as I or my interests are not directly damaged.
But in Floyd, there is NIMWS. Not In My Watershed. It is a larger concern than NIMBY. What happens to you matters to me. Briefly, here’s why the pipeline is a water issue involving all of us who live here.
Water will be a high-levelÂ concern when considering the possible long-term impacts of the proposed Mountain Valley pipeline across Floyd County. Our Blue Ridge geology presents unique uncertainties and known risks from groundwater contamination.
Much more will be said about this one environmental issueÂ in the coming weeks and months, and from that, we will all be better informed about water as a fragile and limiting human and agriculturalÂ resourceÂ in our county.
For now, I’ll offer one link, an except from that source, and an image [above, click to enlarge] from a source water protection document produced by a group of Floyd Citizens with expert help in 2010.
The point is that there is no such thing as MY WATER here. We share an interwovenÂ plexus, a tissue of rainwater veins that can communicate E. coli and other contaminants across many miles.
While relatively few landowners would be directly impacted by the pipeline’s disturbances to natural and cultural resources–and those perturbationsÂ are many–far more wells stand at risk than those within or close to the right-of-way.
We should all know this, going in.
Fractured-rockÂ aquifers are widely distributed near land surface and are highly susceptible to contamination from human activities.
Researchers are developing an improved understanding of the movement of water and contaminants in fractured-rock aquifers, methods for characterization of field conditions, and modeling tools.
Contaminant transport and fate is fundamentally different in fractured rock than in unconsolidated (sand and gravel) aquifers. Significantly more uncertainty exists as to the direction and rate of contaminant migration, as well as the processes and factors that control chemical and microbial transformations.
At many contaminated sites across the Nation, remedial action is delayed or stymied by the complexity of contaminated fractured-rock aquifers.