Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative

Stopping pollution from reaching our streams, rivers, and reservoirs

One of the most effective ways to protect drinking water is to protect natural lands around our waterways. Through the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative, Conservation Trust for North Carolina coordinates a partnership of land trusts and local governments that protect natural land most critical for ensuring the long-term health of Upper Neuse River Basin drinking water supplies.

Through this project, the Initiative has successfully conserved 100 miles of forests, wetlands, and open fields to slow down rain and runoff so water can filter gradually through the soil, trapping sediment and pollutants before they reach streams and lakes that provide drinking water for our rapidly growing region.

It is critical to conserve intact natural areas along streams now.

Water quality is declining in the Upper Neuse basin due to rapid development and population growth. Wake County grows by 63 people per day, which could consume 76 percent of the remaining undeveloped land in the basin. As more land is developed and the watershed’s forest cover continues to shrink, water quality will suffer. Together, we can build stronger communities that are resilient to change in water quantity and quality challenges. Read about the impressive accomplishments already achieved through this project

CTNC is joined by Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Eno River Association, Tar River Land Conservancy, Triangle Greenways Council, Triangle Land Conservancy, and The Conservation Fund in conserving critical lands upstream of these growing urban areas. The 770-square-mile Upper Neuse basin contains nine public drinking water reservoirs (Falls Lake, Lake Michie, Little River Reservoir, Lake Holt, Lake Orange, New Hillsborough Lake, Corporation Lake, Lake Ben Johnson and Lake Rogers) that together serve more than 600,000 people in Wake, Durham, Orange, Granville, Franklin, and Person counties.