A. Whenever the governing body of any locality finds that a water supply emergency exists or is reasonably likely to occur if water conservation measures are not taken, it may adopt an ordinance restricting the use of water by the citizens of such locality for the duration of such emergency or for a period of time necessary to prevent the occurrence of a water supply emergency. However, such ordinance shall apply only to water supplied by a locality, authority, or company distributing water for a fee or charge. Such ordinance may include appropriate penalties designed to prevent excessive use of water, including, but not limited to, a surcharge on excessive amounts used.
B. After such an emergency has been declared in any locality, any owner of a water supply system serving that locality may apply to the State Water Control Board for assistance. If the State Water Control Board confirms the existence of an emergency, and finds that such owner and such locality have exhausted available means to relieve the emergency and that the owner and locality are applying all feasible water conservation measures, and in addition finds that there is water available in neighboring localities in excess of the reasonable needs of such localities, and that there exists between such neighboring localities interconnections for the transmission of water, the Board shall so inform the Governor. The Governor, if requested jointly by the locality and the owner of the systems supplying the locality, may then appoint a committee consisting of one representative of the locality declaring the emergency, one representative of the system supplying the locality under emergency, and those two representatives shall choose a third representative and failing to choose such third representative within seven days he shall be selected by the Governor. The committee shall have the duty and authority to allocate the water available in such localities for the period of the emergency, provided that the period of the emergency shall not exceed that determined by the locality declaring the emergency or the State Water Control Board whichever period termination is earlier, so that the best water supply possible will be provided to all water users during the emergency as previously described. Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring the construction of pipeline interconnections between any locality or any water supply system.
C. Any water taken from one water supplier for the benefit of another shall be paid for by using the established rate schedule of the supplier for treated water. Raw water shall be furnished at rates which shall reflect all costs to the supplying locality, including, but not limited to, capital investment costs. Should there be imposed upon the supplier any additional obligation, water production costs or other capital or operating expenditures beyond those normal to the suppliers’ system, then the cost of same shall be chargeable to the receiving locality by single payment or by incorporation in a special rate structure, all of the same as shall be reasonable.
D. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any locality to regulate the use of water taken from a river or any flowing stream when such water is used for industrial purposes and the approximate same quantity of water is returned to such river or stream after such industrial usage.
1978, c. 669, § 15.1-37.3:4; 1997, c. 587; 2001, c. 258.