The League’s Position (from full version with history)
The League of Women Voters of Virginia believes that modifications should be made to Virginia’s water laws, based on the riparian doctrine and the Ground Water Act of 1973.
Specifically we believe that:
- The law should recognize the connection between ground and surface water;
- Decisions about reasonable use of ground water should include the concept of sharing, as in the riparian doctrine;
- Exemptions in the Ground Water Act of 1973 should be tightened; and
- If the resolution of conflicts is in the Courts, expert technical advice should be provided.
The League believes that the state must fulfill its responsibility for gathering information about
Virginia’s water resources, planning for future supply, and giving assistance to localities about their water supplies; and that:
- The designated agency must be strengthened and adequately funded;
- The state should have a strong land use policy that recognizes that water and land-use planning are indivisible; and
- The state should take the lead, both by education and by legislation, in promoting water conservation. (1983)
The League supports the moratorium on uranium mining. The Commonwealth must establish modern, enforceable, and proven effective best practices to protect the health and safety of workers, the public, and the environment before uranium mining, processing, and reclamation occurs. The Commonwealth must ensure that tangible economic benefits exists even if industry can develop modern best practices specific to the unique environment of Virginia. Further, if the Commonwealth adopts best practices approved by an independent assessment team such as the National Academy of Science (NAS) or other independent scientific organization, it must also provide the staff and funds needed by the Department of mines, Minerals, and Energy, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Health, and other state agencies to thoroughly monitor and regulate uranium mining.
According to the December 2012 NAS report “the waste form mining and milling if not adequately controlled may contaminate the local environment by seeping into water sources.” Some high population centers would most likely be affected if contaminants were inadequately isolated. Further, because Virginia is at risk of hurricanes and intense rainfall, concern exists about the effectiveness of the uranium tailings repositories to prevent surface and groundwater contamination. Tourism and agriculture, important economic drivers for the Commonwealth, depend on clean water which could be compromised by uranium mining. (2014)
Learn about the League of Women Voters of Virginia positions in our 2018 League of Women Voters of Virginia Positioned For Action
Three options are available:
- POSITIONS -IN-BRIEF A Full page abridged version (8 1/2″ x 11″)
- POSITIONS -IN-BRIEF A Four-fold abridged version (8 1/2″ x 14″)
- POSITIONED FOR ACTION A Full version with history