Since 2005, the City of Raleigh has had a Watershed Protection Program, previously referred to as the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative (UNCWI), which was created to protect water quality within our drinking water supply watersheds. These water supply watersheds include both the Falls Lake watershed and the Swift Creek watershed upstream of Lake Benson dam in Garner, NC. Historically, watershed protection efforts have been comprised of land conservation projects throughout our water supply watersheds, with the goal of preserving critical streams and ecological areas that drain into our water supply reservoirs. Other projects include streambank restoration, reforestation, removal of abandoned animal waste lagoons and stormwater improvements in urban areas within the watersheds.
The program is funded from a volumetric charge assessed to all water utility customers, which is $0.15 per 1,000 gallons of water used. This is around $0.60 per month for the average residential customer. Because the program is often functioning well outside of Raleigh's jurisdiction, the program is administered by the Triangle J Council of Government, which is a regional planning organization for the Triangle area.
To date, the program has helped protect 10,800 acres and 117 miles of streams within our critical water supply watersheds. More information about the program is available below: