Water

Question 5: 81% of our county’s streams are considered impaired due to development and our fast growing population is placing increased pressure on our drinking water supply.  Academic experts have projected that our region could be one of the first on the East Coast to run out of water for all its residents. What actions do you think the City should take to protect our watershed from further impacts of development and what should we be doing to ensure adequate water supply?

 

Position Name Answer
Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) Did not return survey
Mayor Edwin B. Peacock III (R) First, I think we need to partner with area landscape designers and developers to continue to work to introduce/educate citizens on “low water use” plants, and grasses.   This came to the immediate attention of homeowners when we had our drought in 2008/09.   We can’t forget the lessons learned when we were forced to limit water use. Second, we also need to be thinking ahead and preparing ourselves for the legal battles over water like other Western states currently do.   If anything, we learned that this limited resource in a high growth city like Charlotte can and will have challenges as they did from the court case vs. South Carolina over water use. Third, we also need to be sensitive to the incredible security risk we face with so few sources for the majority of our drinking water. I think this has an important public safety aspect to it as well. 
At Large Julie Eiselt (D) This is a tough battle to wage when we don’t have a visible crisis on our hands. But I have seen what happens when you are in the midst of it, like California is, where my parents live. I think we need to elevate these discussions, backed by facts and data from other cities like Waukesha, WI that are having to buy water from neighboring towns. We need a little PR around this issue before it becomes a reality so that we can get residents to be more aware and responsible regarding water usage, and buy into voluntary conservation.
At Large Claire Green Fallon (D) Did not return survey
At Large Vi Lyles (D) One of my goals as a city council member is to address the safety and conservation of the water supply.  We need to complete the work on the Catawba and Wateree basin and set a goal to reduce water consumption.  And we need to bring to a conclusion the impact of water runoff as a result of construction.
At Large James "Smuggie" Mitchell (D) I think we need to add new criteria to our development guidelines that would protect our watershed from impact of development. We need to do an assessment of our future water supply needs and developed a plan to ensure we will adequate water supply in short term 50 years and long term 100 years. Review our basins in the region to verify that we will have adequate water supply for the City.
At Large Pablo Carvajal (R) Charlotte has access to one of the State’s Largest Reservoirs, ie “Lake Norman” which is currently owned by Duke Energy. I would immediately suggest for a new aqueduct project be formulated and planned by County and City Council witht he advice of private institutions, and academia to prepare for the future of Charlotte. First, we need to educate and preserve the water sources we have now. To do so would require an ad campaignand beyond to promote more water conservation among our residents and businesses.
At Large John K. Powell Jr. (R) I believe that it’s important for us to pay close attention to our most precious resources here in Charlotte.
At Large David Michael Rice (R) Did not return survey
District 1 Patsy Kinsey (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Alvin "Al" Austin (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Justin Dunn (R) Did not return survey
District 3 LaWana Mayfield (D) Did not return survey
District 3 Eric Wayne Netter (R) Did not return survey
 District 4 Greg Phipps (D) It is noteworthy that our streams have progressed from nearly 100% impairment to 81% and improving. Even though incremental improvements are being made, we are not yet where we want to be and much work remains to be done. We need more Adopt-A-Stream volunteer participation for routine stream cleanups and monitoring, not just for annual Big Sweeps.  Charlotte Water is the regional leader in working with our adjacent partners to ensure a strategy to both safeguard our water supply, and monitor the sufficiency of water capacity to sustain our needs. We must seek ways to prudently preserve and safeguard our water resources through better conservation and water treatment best practices.  Perpetrators of illegal dumping of harmful chemicals in our water systems must be hunted down and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
District 4 Michael O'Hara (R) I recently worked on an area cleanup. I was shocked at the amount of trash and debris discarded on our streets.  From tires, beds, electronics, garbage and cigarette butts it all will find it way to our streams.  We need more aggressive fines and ways for citizens to report offenders.  On water availability, we share our water supply with downstream neighbors. Water conservation should not be a “crisis” event, but a year-round event.  In addition, we need stronger education and controls on what is applied to yards, construction, and agriculture that will eventually runoff into our storm drains or seep into underground water tables. 
District 5 John Autry (D) Did not return survey
District 6 Kenny Smith (R) Did not return survey
District 7 Chris Turner (D) We rely on developers, landowners, businesses, etc. to adhere to rules regarding watershed and dumping in streams. We must collaborate with these entities to stop the abuse. This will require time and careful planning among all of the stakeholders. Identifying other areas of water pollution beyond the ones listed must be done and the prioritize the problems
District 7 Edmund Driggs (R) Did not return survey

 

Question 6: Do you support allowing developers to pay the city a fee in lieu of managing their polluted stormwater runoff on-site? 

 

Position Name Answer
Mayor Jennifer Roberts (D) Did not return survey
Mayor Edwin B. Peacock III (D) The Post Construction Control Ordinance has known concerns that need to be addressed since implementation.  I’ve understood the fee-in-lieu could be the solution, but I’d like to see the details hammered out between staff & the public. 
At Large Julie Eiselt (R) Fee in lieu is not a long-term sustainable solution. As a new Council member, I need to understand the history of this complicated and contentious issue.
At Large Claire Green Fallon (D) Did not return survey
At Large Vi Lyles (D) There is a task force, made up of the various interest groups, working to bring recommendations on the stormwater runoff policies. I hope they will present recommendations that will address a sustainable work program. 
At Large James "Smuggie" Mitchell (D) I think developers need to be responsible for managing their polluted storm water runoff on-site.
At Large Pablo Carvajal (R) I support allowing developers to pay a fee instead of treating stormwater on‐site. I think the Post Construction Controls Ordinance goes beyond storm‐quality standards however and if not reviewed could drive up costs of development.
At Large John K. Powell Jr. (R) I am always concerned when we start talking about adding more fees to our private industry partners which could result in them doing business in other places such as South Carolina. We should take a look around the country at comparable cities; and find out how they are managing polluted storm water in “partnership” with private industry.
At Large David Michael Rice (R) Did not return survey
District 1 Patsy Kinsey (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Alvin "Al" Austin (D) Did not return survey
District 2 Justin Dunn (R) Did not return survey
District 3 LaWana Mayfield (D) Did not return survey
District 3 Eric Wayne Netter (R) Did not return survey
 District 4 Greg Phipps (D) In most instances, no.  I am hopeful that a sun-set of fee-in-lieu is in the realm of possibility in the near-term after directed discussions by city council were mandated to all affected parties to reach consensus on the matter.  Informal inquiries on the progress of PCCO discussions to date are disappointing, the fallout of which may be finger pointing by all sides. 
District 4 Michael O'Hara (R) Absolutely not.  Developers should be held accountable to manage runoff and if they did not, they should restore or reverse the damage and pay a fine. 
District 5 John Autry (D) Did not return survey
District 6 Kenny Smith (R) Did not return survey
District 7 Chris Turner (D) I need to study this more before I can provide an educated answer. I know there have been recent changes/discussions regarding this subject.
District 7 Edmund Driggs (R) Did not return survey

  

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