The report of Jim McElduff, an environmental engineer, to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners was really more of an admission that we don't know enough yet to fully assess the impact of development on water supplies, though his preliminary findings might be alarming to those capable of being alarmed.
There is little data available on groundwater levels in North Carolina, said Landon Davidson, regional supervisor of the Aquifer Protection Section of the N.C. Division of Water. He said the state might be willing to conduct pilot studies measuring groundwater depletion in the mountains.
In Watauga County such studies are already underway, shepherded by hydro-geologist Bill Anderson at Appalachian State University. He is monitoring a number of wells and will eventually have longitudinal data on changes in ground water availability to correlate with drought cycles and development.