Little River Reservoir Stopped!


Little River, NC

Little River, NC | American Rivers

The Little River (just north of Raleigh, NC) will continue to be a free flowing river for the foreseeable future. The City of Raleigh will look to its current drinking water source- Falls Lake – and determine if additional water supply can be provided from that reservoir.

American Rivers listed the Little River in the 2010 Most Endangered Rivers report to raise awareness of the public to the plan by the city of Raleigh to build a new water supply reservoir on the river and called for the city to seriously explore alternatives. This is a great victory for a wonderful river in North Carolina and for the communities around that river.

The project has been an on-going issue for Raleigh for several decades now. It was first proposed in the 1980’s and has slowly been making progress toward completion since then. Raleigh leaders started to move in a more focused way on the project in 2005 pushing for its permitting and construction to begin by 2012. American Rivers has been working with city staff and others to look at lower cost and more environmentally friendly alternatives.

The city has aggressively been pursuing water efficiency practices and the drought of record in 2007 has helped to change many of the water use habits of the residents of Raleigh. Raleigh has joined the ranks of other cities that are using their water more wisely and have had their population grow but their water use decline. This trend and the open-mindedness of the city staff to look for alternatives to the reservoir made this decision possible.

The Little River Reservoir proposal will return to the shelf for the time being and to keep it there the city and its water users must continue on the path of efficiency and innovation.