State environmental officials recently approved the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basinwide Water Resources Management plan. It lays out a roadmap to address concerns in the watershed, including reducing pollution going into High Rock Lake.

The Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin plan was updated this summer. It’s an overview of conditions and concerns about the river’s water quality, particularly nutrients and sedimentation. These nutrient pollution sources come primarily from three areas: wastewater, agricultural runoff and forestry, and stormwater.

The state will use that information to help develop a cleanup strategy for High Rock Lake in the watershed. The lake is impaired because of PH, turbidity and chlorophyll-a. There’s also an increase in potentially harmful algal blooms. High Rock Lake is like a bowl that catches pollution coming down the river and that gets passed down to lakes below the watershed.

The State Division of Water Resources recently held its first stakeholder’s meeting to discuss the issues facing High Rock.

Yadkin Riverkeeper Edgar Miller says it’s a historic opportunity to improve water quality in the basin.

“It’s really about protecting the recreational resource of High Rock Lake, drinking water supplies for many communities downstream, and ultimately it will benefit the entire River Basin,” says Miller.

The North Carolina Division of Water Resources is also creating a steering committee and technical advisory groups to address High Rock Lake’s impairments.

The agency is in the early stages of a several year process to adopt regulations that control nutrient inputs in the watershed.

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