Director at Lake Chesdin talks about drop in water

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The debate over levels at Lake Chesdin takes a new turn as people voice their concerns during a meeting with the managing group.

People living along Lake Chesdin are worried about the drop in water levels. They're worried about their lake views, and their worried because boats can't get into the water because levels have dropped drastically. But the managing agency of Lake Chesdin says this is a reservoir. It wasn't built for recreation.

The Appomattox River Water Authority faced a tough crowd of three dozen people at a meeting Thursday. They want to know why Lake Chesdin lacks so much water.

"You pick up clams and mussels the size of your palm and keep throwing them in the water, because every day the lake's gone down two inches," said lakeside resident Tom Yeager.

He worries about the amount of water let out of the reservoir. Portions of it now resemble a desert.

"If you keep letting water out of a bucket than you put into it, then eventually the bucket goes dry," said Yeager. "And we're pretty damn close."

"We have 160 days of water in the reservoir behind me," explained Chris Dawson, Director of the Appomattox River Water Authority. "Yes, we're down 9 feet."

He says we'll make it through the summer if people obey mandatory restrictions. But he says the lake is first and foremost, a water source.

"I think that's the way people look at it-- that it's their lake," said Dawson. "Unfortunately it's a water-supply reservoir for all the people in this region to use."

Dawson says the water authority could have imposed restrictions sooner, but it wanted to wait until it was absolutely necessary. Because the authority is guided by state regulations, residents have asked the governor for an examination into its actions.

Since Chesterfield started its water restrictions water levels have dropped four inches. Though Dawson says water consumption is down.

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