Review of Water Studies and Reports
Rothrock Engineering Study
In 2011 Beech Mountain commissioned Rothrock Engineering to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the Town’s water infrastructure. The study highlighted the Town’s water shortage in times of drought, due to insufficient water flow of Buckeye Creek. A key finding of the study concluded that, “drawing water from the Watauga River is the only long-term permanent solution to [Beech Mountain’s] raw water problem.” The study rejected all other secondary water source options as viable.
On October 17, 2011 the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources stated its concurrence that the Town needed a secondary water source and supported the Town’s efforts to permit an intake on the Watauga River. The NCDENR noted that Buckeye Creek was an inadequate water source during times of drought.
2013 Report Provided by Town to Watauga County Commission
This presentation was made on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, by the Town’s environmental consultant Lee Spencer and Public Utilities Director Robert Heaton. It concluded that the Town needed a supplemental water supply intake on the Watauga River.
2015 NC Division of Water Resources Analysis
On September 1, 2015 the NC Division of Water Resources, Water Supply Planning Branch, issued a Report analyzing Beech Mountain’s future water supply needs and availability. The study found that the Town’s current water source was insufficient to meet its needs. It further found that the Town was taking the necessary steps to reduce consumption and solve its water leaks and, after considering all available options, the Watauga River Intake was the best option for a supplemental water source.
West Consultants Report
In 2018 the Town retained West Consultants, PLLC to supplement the 2011 Rothrock Study. West presented its findings at the October 1, 2018 Special Town Council meeting. West found that Buckeye Creek was an inadequate water supply for the Town during times of drought. West reviewed all potential alternate sources of additional raw water. They concluded that an intake on the Watauga River was the only viable secondary water source for the Town.
2022 Drought Mitigation Study
The September 12, 2022 Drought Mitigation Study analyzes Beech Mountain’s current water supply and possible solutions. Its focus is the Lake Coffey Project and how that project would add to the Town’s water supply. It provides technical analysis, a review of the required permitting and a cost benefit approach to the project and provides an initial cost estimate.