Sierra Club throws support to dredging
"We believe that prudence now dictates reconsideration of dredging of the Rivanna Reservoir as a key element in a long-term water supply plan," reads a letter from the Club's Piedmont Group to the water authority and local lawmakers.
The letter, sent Wednesday by conservation chair Thomas Olivier, appears to deliver a blow to public officials who have, in recent weeks, maintained an impressive show of steadfastness toward the official plan despite grassroots pleas to reconsider dredging, an option shelved three years ago after nine-figure estimates from a single firm with an uncanny knack for making millions studying the local water supply.
"We are aware that in recent weeks, various knowledgeable individuals have asserted that dredging the reservoir could be conducted responsibly for far less than the estimate available at the time of our endorsement of the water plan," says the letter, which also references the "thousands of trees" which would be lost in the current plan to clear-cut over 180 acres in Ragged Mountain Natural Area.
"I am thrilled by the courage and wisdom of the Sierra Club," said Betty Mooney, a leader in the fight against the official water plan.
The Sierra Club's move puts it on the opposite side of the debate from several other environmental groups including the Piedmont Environmental Council, the Nature Conservancy, and Friends of the Moorman's River.
(Photo: Doomed by official refusals to dredge, the sediment-choked Rivanna Reservoir will shrink to just 12 percent of its original volume 42 years from now. PHOTO BY SKIP DEGAN)