New River Clean Water Alliance
In 2009, a group of local citizens and community
leaders concerned about the health of the New River met to discuss the status of water
quality and what could be done, strategically and effectively, to address challenges
facing the river. Out of those discussions, we formed the New River Clean Water Alliance.
Who We Are:
National Parks Conservation Association, West Virginia Department of Environmental
Protection, Plateau Action Network, National Park Services, West Virginia Professional Outfitters,
Mountain Resource Conservation & Development, Southern Conservation District,
Pine Creek Watershed Association, and the New River Conservancy
To improve water quality in the Lower New River and its tributaries to sustain the
river’s environmental, cultural, recreational, and economic benefits.
Identify the issues, Incorporate community input, Focus priorities, and set
the stage for improving water quality in the Lower New.
Downstream Strategies, an environmental consulting
company based in West Virginia, assisted the Alliance
with conducting data analysis on water quality,
gathering and analyzing stakeholder input, predicting
project feasibility, and arriving at priority tributaries
to focus recommendations.
Key points related to
water quality in the Lower New River:
Many tributaries that flow into the Lower New River routinely have pollutant levels that violate
clean-water standards set to protect public health.
The New River itself is considered impaired by the State of West Virginia, which means it does not
meet the clean-water standard for fecal coliform under some weather conditions.
Pollution is most likely to be found at unsafe levels after periods of heavy rainfall when the
New River is running high (at levels greater than 10,600 cubic feet per second).
Most pollution originates in local tributaries that flow into the New River below Bluestone Dam
Heavy rainfall flushes the land surface and enters wastewater systems through leaking sewer pipes,
causing fecal matter to enter New River tributaries.
Cost-Effective Recommendations To Reach Clean Water Goals
1) Community Support:
for the Lower New River:
Strengthen the regional voice for clean water through increased staff and
funding for local organizations to educate and engage community members.
Support funding proposals and affordable financing to repair sewer leaks
on public and private property. Garner community support for existing wastewater efforts.
Demonstrate green and decentralized infrastructure solutions.