Climate Change and Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake in Chatham County
A lot is going on nationally - there's the whole dirty tar sands issue, and the word's out that the new leadership at the EPA expects to regulate carbon dioxide, as well as other greenhouse gases. Not only would such a move by the EPA change dramatically the way various industries - automakers, energy producers, and manufacturing firms, to name the obvious - go about their business, but the US government would have serious cachet at the Copenhagen talks scheduled for December.

With all that news, it can be easy to lose sight of what's going on here in NC, especially water issues, which don't tend to grab the headlines like our new president's first official trip abroad.

It might be news to you that we're sliding back into a statewide water emergency.

And it's probably news to you that the Jordan Lake Rules are under fire at the General Assembly. An important source of drinking water in the state, Jordan Lake rather needs a bit of a tune-up, and effectually, the introduced legislation would more or less undermine the principles of the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act puts forth pollution levels that water sources must meet; Jordan Lake does not meet the standards for chlorophyl and alkalinity, as our friends over at NC Conservation Network have pointed out. To restore Jordan Lake to health is going to cost a lot of money, and that has caused quite a few grumbles from the private sector and various municipalities. But when you notice that the Bush-era EPA (!!) gave its seal of approval to the Jordan Lake Rules, the issue clarifies.

Jordan Lake is the main drinking water source for Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Northern Chatham and the Wake County portion of RTP. It simply cannot continue to be so polluted. In 1997, the General Assembly stipulated that the lake be cleaned by 2003 in the Clean Water Responsibility Act, so, yeah, we struck out on that one, but it's not like the pricetag has caught the state by surprise. It costs a little money to keep your environment livable and drinkable.

More info: NC Policy Watch's "Sabotaging the Jordan Lake Rules", CleanJordanLake.org, Clean Jordan Lake factsheet


  1. If you would like to know more about Jordan Lake's upstream neighbor Greensboro and how it is abusing water, see

  2. For the complete lowdown on Greensboro's water fraud simply Google just two words--dam scam