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After little rain, population growth, do we have enough water?

Dear, Potomac Local: 

“I’ve been wondering, given the lack of rain for some time and the considerable population growth, is the water supply for this area adequate? If so, why?” 

After we saw this question in our news[at] email, we checked with the Prince William County Service Authority, the largest provider of water to homes and businesses in the county: 

The Prince William County Service Authority purchases water from Fairfax Water and the City of Manassas. Here are their responses to your reader’s question regarding water supply.


City of Manassas

“The City of Manassas is fortunate because we have two reliable water supply sources for our customers. The primary source is the City of Manassas Water Treatment Plant, which draws water from Lake Manassas, an impoundment on Broad Run in western Prince William County. The watershed for Lake Manassas covers approximately 74.5 square miles, with the reservoir covering over 790 acres and holding approximately 5.3 billion gallons of water at full capacity. The second source of water, if needed during peak consumption periods or emergencies, is water supplied from the Prince William County Service Authority (PWCSA). The water supplied to us from PWCSA is treated at Fairfax Water’s Northern Treatment Facility the James J. Corbalis Plant, which withdraws water from the Potomac River. “

Fairfax Water    

We are very fortunate to have an abundant supply of water in the DC area.  Local water utilities, including Fairfax Water and the Prince William County Service Authority, work together at the regional level with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) to monitor water supply conditions.  Fairfax Water is also looking at future water supply needs with our Vulcan Quarry Reservoir project. This reservoir will provide significant additional storage for use in the event of a prolonged regional drought. The reservoir will be developed in two stages: the northern part of the quarry will be transferred to Fairfax Water by the end of 2035 after quarry operations cease in that portion of the property; and the remainder of the quarry will be transferred to Fairfax Water in 2085 after quarry operations cease entirely.  More information can be found here:  Oct. 25, 2016 press release and here:  Sept. 26, 2017 press release

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