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, a program of Raleigh Water, CTNC provided funding to help land trusts conserve 100 miles of forests, wetlands and open fields to slow down rain and runoff.

It is critical to conserve intact natural areas along streams.

Water quality is declining in the upper Neuse basin due to rapid development and population growth. By conserving land in the watershed, water can filter gradually through the soil, trapping sediment and pollutants before reaching streams and lakes that provide drinking water for a rapidly growing region.

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.

In partnership with Raleigh Water, CTNC supported the efforts of Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Eno River Association, Tar River Land Conservancy, Triangle Greenways Council, Triangle Land Conservancy and The Conservation Fund to conserve 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.