By Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A biologist who helped conceive key approaches in the 2006

community water supply plan

has been named to the

Albemarle County Service Authority


The new appointee, Bill Kittrell, is the director of conservation programs for

The Nature Conservancy


Bill Kittrell

“This is a good way for me to use some of my science and economic experience to help the community with a very important issue,” Kittrell said in an interview. “I thought it was a good way for me to become involved more directly.”


Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

voted Monday to name Kittrell to the seat vacated when

John Martin

resigned in order to advocate for the water plan as a private resident. Supervisor

Ann H. Mallek

approached Kittrell to find out if he would finish Martin’s term.

“I’m very excited he would step in,” said Mallek, who represents the

White Hall magisterial district

. “I wanted to make sure that the ACSA Board had someone representing the rivers.”

Kittrell, who has been with The Nature Conservancy since 1990. worked with Ridge Schuyler and other staff to develop one of the plan’s key concepts. The existing water supply relies on a pipeline from the

Sugar Hollow Reservoir

to the

Ragged Mountain Reservoir

. Kittrell said that has altered natural conditions for the Moormans River by diverting the natural stream flow.

“Currently, the Sugar Hollow Dam releases waters that mimic the Moormans’ natural flows only 64 percent of the time,” Kittrell said. “Under the proposed community water supply plan, the Moormans’ flows will mimic its natural flows 99 percent of the time.”

Charlottesville and Albemarle agree on the elimination of the Sugar Hollow pipeline, which would restore natural stream flows.  However, they disagree about the degree to which the streams should be improved and the approach to be taken with a new dam at Ragged Mountain.  Charlottesville favors a taller dam built in two phases only as needed, an approach Mayor

Dave Norris

has said can be much cheaper and have less of an impact on the environment.

Kittrell said that he did not believe dredging the

South Fork Rivanna Reservoir

should be part of the water supply plan, as some city residents and city councilors have demanded.

“It’s not cost effective and it doesn’t meet stream flow requirements. I don’t think it’s environmentally beneficial, and I don’t think that it’s going to be a reasonable solution to meeting the water supply needs for the community in the future,” Kittrell said. However, he added he would support dredging of the reservoir for other purposes if it were not too expensive for ratepayers.

Kittrell was born in Greenville, N.C., and received degrees in biology and economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He lives in


with his wife and daughter.


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