We’re restoring the New River — because the river restores us.
The New River Clean Water Alliance is a coalition of like-minded organizations, government agencies, nonprofits and watershed groups dedicated to protecting water quality in the New River Gorge. Our goal? Improving water quality in the Lower New River and its tributaries to sustain the river’s environmental, cultural, recreational, and economic benefits. We work with local communities to identify the issues, incorporate community input, focus priorities, and set the stage for improving water quality in the Lower New River Gorge Region.
After water quality issues are identified, the New River Clean Water Alliance works with the community to address the issue. This typically involves working with local and state agencies to improve failing infrastructure, as well as securing funding.
Communications and Outreach
An important part of the New River Clean Water Alliance’s work is publishing research. This allows the Alliance to educate the community and receive input from stakeholders as well. In 2010 the New River Clean Water Alliance published the State of the Watershed documenting their findings, identifying factors that contributed to water quality, and recommended creative solutions to address issues in priority areas. A decade later the Alliance is working together to continue our research and update our findings, so that we can ensure that we are protecting the water quality of the New River Gorge to the best of our ability.
And while the New River Conservancy facilitates the NRCWA, we have a vast network of incredible partners that make the work possible. These partners include The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, National Park Service, National Parks Conservation Association, Southern Conservation District, Piney Creek Watershed Association, Region 1 and Region 4 Planning and Development Councils, Beckley Sanitary Board, West Virginia American Water, Plateau Action Network, WV Rivers Coalition , and many awesome citizens looking to support the cause.
Interested in partnering?
Check out our opportunities to engage as a partner.Learn More
Water Quality Data in the Gorge
What are the major influences on water quality in the Lower New River (WV)?
Pollution that does not come from a single point including agricultural lands, animal waste, and failing septic systems. Property owners can help mitigate their impact by maintaining their septic systems and effectively managing livestock and pet waste.
Population Density and Development
Tributary watersheds with high populations tend to be those that contribute the most fecal coliform bacteria to the main stem of the New River. Removal of forest vegetation, including conversion of forest to agricultural uses, lawns, parking lots, streets, and buildings, reduces the amount of rainfall absorbed by the ground. This leads to increased runoff that carries fecal material from livestock, wildlife, and pets into streams.
Impact of Flow on Water Quality
During high flows, intense precipitation flushes land saturated with pollution from residential streets, failing septic fields, and around broken sewer pipes. Waste is then carried to streams by the increased surface runoff. Rainfall also contributes to the overflows from wastewater treatment systems. Improved stormwater management can be attained by eliminating combined sewer overflow systems as well as green infrastructure projects.