Is there enough water to fuel north Buncombe growth?

Emily Patrick / Asheville Citizen Times

The Ivy River flows west through Madison County, tumbling toward the French Broad River. At the Buncombe County line, three small mountains fit together like laced fingers, and the Ivy weaves through them, creating a curly flourish at the border. Where the river skirts into Buncombe, Weaverville gets its water. It’s a convenient spot for the Buncombe County town. The Ivy River starts as tributaries in Buncombe and Madison counties, but at its girthiest, below the Forks of Ivy, it flows almost entirely through Madison County. Wochit

The approximately 70 miles of pipe serve Buncombe properties beyond the town limits, allowing commercial and residential growth up the Interstate 26 corridor. But Weaverville has grown so quickly over the past 20 years, the water system is nearing its capacity. Hundreds of new apartments and houses are under construction, and when they’re complete, they’ll use about 340,000 gallons of water a day and put the water treatment plant at about 75 percent capacity. The area currently uses about 700,000 gallons per day.

“We all had tremendous growth all of a sudden with the multi-family high density,” said Tony Laughter, public works director. “For a little town like Weaverville, those are significant chunks of the available supply.”

So the town has a decision to make, and it’s a decision that will impact growth in northern Buncombe County. If the town decides not to expand the water system, it will likely limit the number of apartment buildings that can be built in and around Weaverville.

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