With an unwavering commitment to fiscal responsibility, infrastructure improvements and continued economic development, Henrico County always has an eye toward its future. The future of the county’s water supply is underway at the 1,117-acre Cobbs Creek Reservoir – a project that will guarantee the County’s supply of drinking water to 2070 and beyond.
When completed, the reservoir will be a 14.8-billion-gallon lake designed to augment water drawn from the James River, securing the future water supply for County residents and businesses well into the future. The regional effort is expected to affect Henrico’s economic development, as well.
“Adequate water supplies, now and into the future, are a key factor in whether Henrico will make the short list for companies in its target industries,” says Christopher D. Lloyd, Senior Vice President, McGuireWoods Consulting, LLC. “The long-term approach taken by the county's leaders shows the county gets what it takes to compete effectively for new jobs and investment."
The budget for the regional reservoir project is $280 million, to be paid for by the Henrico Department of Public Utilities’ enterprise fund – the fees paid for by water and sewer services in the county. If other localities join as partners, they will also assume a share of the cost.
“The [Cobbs Creek Reservoir] project is important to the economic well-being of Henrico because it secures our source of water for decades, depending on how quickly we grow, which allows for the continued balanced expansion of all that makes the Henrico community such a great place to live and do business,” says Chip England, Director, Henrico Public Utilities Department.
The largest utility project in Henrico’s history, when complete, it is estimated to secure Henrico’s drinking water needs for the next 50 years.
A Regional Project 15 Years in the Making…
In many ways, the Cobbs Creek Reservoir project began in 2002 after a historic drought affected the state. In 2010, Henrico and Cumberland Counties ultimately agreed on a Cobbs Creek location, which sits on approximately 1,100 acres in Cumberland.
In June of this year, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors officially issued MEB Haymes Joint Venture LLC a notice to proceed on the project, which includes “the construction of the two earthen dams, the water intake structure in the James River, a pumping station, and other facilities which will support this massive operation,” reports Henrico Public Utilities.
Construction of the dams and facilities is expected to begin in the Spring 2017 and take approximately four years. The lake, which will be open for recreational use, is expected to be fully operational in 2022.
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