Water is Life

Taking Care of Our Most Essential Resource

If there is one natural resource taken most for granted, it’s clean water. Many people are able to turn on a tap and clean water is readily available, but when this is not the case, your day-to-day life is altered drastically. Water is life: It is necessary for the survival of all living beings on earth which is why it is so essential to protect. Each small stream matters.

Piedmont Land Conservancy's footprint includes the headwater portions of 3 of the top 5 largest River Basins in North Carolina:

The Cape Fear River Basin

Haw River & Deep River

Nearly one million people in North Carolina, like communities in Pittsboro, Chatham County, Sanford, Harnett, Dunn, and Fayetteville rely on the Cape Fear River basin for drinking water. It is one of the only watersheds to originate and flow only in North Carolina.

PLC has protected a number of properties along the Deep River, near the headwaters in High Point as well as further downstream. PLC is also the Non-Profit Partner for the Deep River State Trail.

Faith Rock Trail along the Deep River, PLC protected property.

The Yadkin/Pee Dee River Basin

Yadkin River, Mitchell River, Fisher River, & Ararat River

More than 1.7 million people use the waters of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin every day for drinking water and more according to the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin Association.

In the Yadkin River basin, PLC has focused its conservation work in the headwaters of the Mitchell and Fisher Rivers to help ensure clean water downstream. 

Yadkin River Bluffs along the Yadkin River, PLC protected property.

The Roanoke River Basin

Dan River, Mayo River, & Smith River

The Dan, Mayo, and Smith Rivers flow into the Roanoke which provides drinking water to more than one million people in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and other communities. 

PLC has helped acquire tracts along the Mayo River, forming Mayo River State Park and protecting the drinking water for the residents of Mayodan. PLC has also along protected several sites along the Dan River.

Mayo River State Park along the Mayo River, PLC protected property.

How does PLC Protect Water Quality?

All river corridors in PLC’s nine county region are considered priority initiative areas, meaning that PLC will move quickly at the chance to protect areas along our water ways.

PLC protects water quality by protecting bordering land. At the source of a river, water is relatively pure. As the water flows downstream many other thing enter into the mix, like runoff from streets and urban areas, sediment from soil erosion, human sewage, animal waste, agricultural runoff, and mining or factory pollutants. 

What can significantly halt the pollution picked up along the way is forested land along creeks, stream, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Forested buffers reduce risk of erosion and act as a filter before pollutants can reach the river, keeping the water cleaner. 
It can also reduce water treatment costs. For example, with every 10 percent increase in forest cover in a water source area, water treatment costs drop nearly 20 percent, according to a 2002 study by the Trust for Public Land (https://www.tpl.org/cost-not-protecting-source-waters).
In an ecosystem, everything is connected. Sometimes it only takes one disturbance to change everything. Poor decisions upstream could result in longterm harm to those relying on the river downstream. 

We are so grateful to the people who watch their rivers, care for them, take action, and help us protect as much of the river corridors as possible.
Elkin Creek Headwaters Preserve protects the headwaters of Elkin Creek, the drinking water supply for the town of Elkin.
Lake Hampton in Yadkin County is protected by a 266-acre PLC easement. This Reservoir is the drinking water supply for Yadkinville.

Which River Basin do you Live in?

Learn the names of your rivers. What is your closest nearby stream? Which river does it flow into, and who is relying on the river downstream?
Be protective. Watch how our rivers are being treated, because water is life.
You can help your river’s health by supporting PLC and other organizations working to protect water quality in our region through education, outreach, and advocacy programs: the Dan River Basin Association, the Yadkin Riverkeeper, and the Haw River Assembly.

Click below to learn more about your River Basin from NC Environmental Education Story Maps:

PLC's Nine County Region and 3 River Basins:

Here's Some Places PLC has Protected to Preserve Water Quality:

More Posts from Piedmont Land Conservancy

Guilford County Commissioners voted to allocate $2.3 million to make Bandera Farms Park a reality!

PLC staff and volunteers have been building hiking trails on a beautiful land near Asheboro in anticipation of opening PLC’s second nature preserve: Caraway Creek Nature Preserve. Well, that plan just got bigger and better!

“Legacy.” It’s about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future. It helps us decide the kind of life we want to live and the kind of world we want to live in. 

Consider giving to

Piedmont Land Conservancy

to help protect water quality for millions of people.