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Bill Hocker | Jul 11, 2017 on: Watershed Issues

NVR 7/11/17: Napa County and city team up to protect reservoir water quality

As the watersheds that supply municipal reservoirs continue to be clear-cut and ripped for vineyards that are then bathed in chemicals, the potential issues of city water safety have come to the fore. Napa City, which provides over half of the county's residents with water from the Hennessey and Milliken reservoirs, has decided it's time to verify whether or not the conversion of natural landscape into vineyards poses a threat.

While the Milliken and Hennessey watersheds are the focus of this effort, and may turn up contaminants, more active study should really be done on the county's natural laboratory for watershed pollution, the Rector watershed. It is by far the most converted watershed in the county and, like a coal miner's canary, the most likely to show the negative impacts of sedimentation and chemical pollution now that will only become apparent in the Napa city reservoirs many years hence as development continues. There may be a dis-incentive to study its water: serving the veterans home (which sells water to the town of Yountivlle), Rector water falls under the purview of the state. As such it is probably out of the hands of local governments to monitor.

We understand that the Veteran's home is undertaking a periodic study of Rector's water quality and any new information will be added here when available.

SCR on the Rector Watershed
SCR on Round-up
SCR on the Watershed Initiative
Jim Wilson's County-City recap in 2015