Duck River open houses set for March 24

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where are we going to get our water in the future?

That important question is to be discussed at two open houses set for later this month to let the public know about long-term planning with regards to the area's water supply.

The Duck River Agency, in conjunction with other organizations such as area utilities and environmental groups, has been holding workshops since last year to work out alternatives to their Comprehensive Regional Water Supply Plan.

The two open house events are scheduled for March 24 at the Conference Lodge at Henry Horton State Park, from 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

Citizens will get to take a look at four project ideas that could be used to relieve any projected water shortage that may occur.

Duck River Agency director Doug Murphy points to a TVA study released last July that stated that the future demand for water on the Duck River between Shelbyville and Columbia could exceed the current supply.

Recent projections by TVA and the U.S. Geological Survey indicate the Tennessee River watershed will add about 1.2 million more residents to the existing 4.7 million by 2030.

Additionally, the federal utility says growth in urban areas around the region, some of which are already facing water-supply challenges, will increase pressure on the Tennessee Valley's water resources.

The recommendations are being shared with the public so they can understand more about the ideas, Murphy said, but the open houses will not be in the format of a public meeting.

The plan has been drawn up for Bedford, Coffee, Marshall, Maury, and southern Williamson counties with the idea to develop a plan with a 50-year projection and a 100-year planning horizon.

It is slated to "provide direction to the DRA for the management of available water resources, including the implementation of specific water supply infrastructure projects."

The plan will also include specific recommendations, including budgets and implementation time lines, on water supply and water management projects.

Two workshops held last year focused on the goals and feasibility of the ideas, while the latest workshops over the past three months concentrated on analyzing the region's alternatives for water. The final two workshops to be held later this year will be centered on the implementation of the plans.

The entire process is slated to be completed by July 1.

Materials from the workshops can be found at the Duck River Agency's Web site at