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Pender County


Primary Applicant: Pender County Water System
Source Basin: Cape Fear River IBT Basin (2-3)
Receiving Basin: South River IBT Basin (2-4);
Northeast Cape Fear River IBT Basin (2-5);
New River IBT Basin (2-6)
IBT (Average Daily for Maximum Month): 14.5 MGD

Pender County currently provides drinking water to customers in two of the county's six water and sewer districts, as well as the Towns of Saint Helena and Watha.  Pender County is requesting an interbasin transfer (IBT) certificate for up to 14.5 million gallons per day (mgd), calculated on an average day of the maximum month basis.  The proposed transfer would move water from the Cape Fear River IBT Basin to the South River IBT Basin, Northeast Cape Fear River IBT Basin, and the New River IBT Basin.  The requested transfer amount is based on population growth and water use projections through the year 2050, as well as planned water system expansion into the county's other four water and sewer districts that are not currently served.  Additionally, there are plans for service to be provided to local municipalities within Pender County that currently operate their own water systems, which are reliant upon groundwater, and have identified the need to receive water from the county in the future.  The local municipalities that plan to transition to surface water acquired through the proposed transfer will be co-applicants to the IBT certificate request.

Pender County currently obtains its raw water supply from the Cape Fear River through a contract arrangement with the Lower Cape Fear Water and Sewer Authority (LCFWASA).  The LCFWASA intake and associated Kings Bluff Raw Water Pumping Station are located just above Lock and Dam 1 on the Cape Fear River.  LCFWASA transmits raw water to Pender County's water treatment plant (WTP), located within the Cape Fear River IBT Basin.  As treated water leaves the WTP and is distributed to customers throughout Pender County, transmission lines cross IBT basin boundaries.

Pender County IBT map

Past Actions & Current Status:

In March 2016, Pender County submitted the Notice of Intent (NOI) for an IBT certificate to the Environmental Management Commission (EMC).  The county submitted an Environmental Assessment (EA) in January 2017.  The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) determined a finding of no significant impact could be made regarding the proposed transfer of water, and the FONSI was signed in April 2017.  The draft petition for an interbasin transfer certificate was submitted in April 2017, which DEQ staff are currently reviewing.

Path Forward:
Once the petition is finalized, it will be distributed for public review and a public hearing will be held regarding the petition.  Public comments received at the hearing and subsequent comment period, along with the petition and EA, will be considered by the EMC in making the final determination on whether to grant Pender County the requested IBT certificate.

Background Documentation:

  1. Petition for an IBT Certificate - November 2017
  2. Pender County Water Conservation Plan - October 2017
  3. Pender County Drought Management Plan - October 2017
  4. Signed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) - April 2017 
  5. Final Environmental Assessment - January 2017
  6. Notice of Intent (NOI) - March 2016