HRPDC’s Water Resources executes and administers the Regional Groundwater Mitigation Program. Through this program, staff provides groundwater hydrology and computer modeling expertise and technical support to the participating member local governments. The program operates through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between HRPDC and the localities that was executed in 1994 and renewed in 2010 and 2016.
All groundwater withdrawals of more than 300,000 gallons per month require a permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The state requires a new permit holder to establish a mitigation process to compensate existing well owners if they are impacted by the new permitted withdrawals. After the drought of 2002, the Directors of Utilities Committee developed a regional, streamlined process to evaluate and address claims from well owners who believe that municipal pumping may have impacted the use of their private well. Mitigation claims are evaluated by HRPDC staff using a regional groundwater model. HRPDC staff produces a report that indicates whether pumping from area municipal wells has impacted the private well, and which municipal wells are associated with the impacts. Localities reimburse a well owner for mitigation based on the findings. The evaluations of mitigation claims are based on the methodology established in the Groundwater Mitigation Program, adopted in 2004. Businesses with Groundwater Withdrawal Permits must have a mitigation program but do not participate in the regional mitigation program. Therefore, well owners may need to request mitigation from private businesses to recoup the total cost of damages or replacement of their wells.
Please contact Water Resources staff for more information, as well as a copy of the Mitigation Claim Form and local government contact list.