The WRA is supported by state, and local government partners, including the State of Delaware, New Castle County, the City of Newark, and the City of Wilmington as well as specific grants from American Rivers, Fish America Foundation, National Park Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey, and William Penn Foundation.
Annual Operating Funds
- State of Delaware – The State of Delaware chairs the Water Supply Coordinating Council which has developed over 2 billion gallons of reserve water storage since the drought of 1999. Tributary action teams are developing cleanup plans to restore streams to fishable and swimmable status in the Christina Basin, Appoquinimink, Inland Bays, Broadkill, and Murderkill watersheds, among others. The Delaware Source Water Protection Law of 2001 has prompted counties and towns to adopt wellhead protection ordinances. Watershed management programs are paying off as 80% of monitoring stations along 30 Delaware streams since 1990 have recorded improved or constant water quality for dissolved oxygen, sediment, bacteria, nitrogen, and phosphorus.
- New Castle County, Delaware – New Castle County administers an award winning Water Resource Protection Area (WRPA) ordinance to protect the quality and quantity of wellhead, recharge, reservoir watersheds, and limestone aquifers areas. Over 20% of the County area is protected by this code. The County recently modernized the Stormwater Drainage Code and is working with DELDOT and Newark in complying with the USEPA NPDES stormwater permit. The 2012 Comprehensive Plan update recommends zoning practices to protect the Delaware Bay coastal wetlands and forests in southern New Castle County.
- City of Wilmington – The City of Wilmington has followed a regional approach ever since it built the Delaware River wastewater treatment plant, a facility that treats all of northern Delaware’s wastewater. The City expanded Hoopes Reservoir dam to create over 150 mg of additional storage. Wilmington fixed leaking water mains and saved 3 mgd of drinking water that used to trickle into the ground. The City has invested over $10 million and installed million gallon underground tanks to reduce combined sewer overflows. Recently, Wilmington became the first government in Delaware to adopt a stormwater utility to fund sewer improvements.
- City of Newark – In 2006, the City of Newark recently completed the new 317 million gallon reservoir, the first water supply impoundment in Delaware since the Great Depression. The City also successfully funded new water treatment plants along the White Clay Creek and at the south wellfield. In the early 1990s, the City was one of the first towns to employ open space zoning and now almost all of the floodplain along the White Clay Creek and Upper Christina River are now part of the park system. Newark is one of the only towns that employs a utility approach and publicly maintains storm water facilities. Along with the county, the city of Newark is a key signatory to the White Clay Creek Wild and Scenic River Watershed Management Plan.
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