Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story incorrectly stated Joal Hall Broun’s position with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority. She served on the board for six years. This story has been modified to reflect this change. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the errors.
The Carrboro Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday night against giving the community and University unrestrained access to water supplies located in Jordan Lake.
The amendment was an attempt to clarify the language of the 2001 Water and Sewage Management, Planning and Boundary Agreement, which allows Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and UNC access to several local reservoirs but may prohibit access to Jordan Lake.
Gordon Merklein, chairman of the board of directors for Orange Water and Sewer Authority, argued that the lake was needed in addition to the other water sources the area has access to.
Merklein is also UNC’s executive director of real estate development.
“Jordan Lake is essential because the other water supplies cannot meet all of the expected needs of the community over the next 50 years,” he said.
Merklein said in order to access Jordan Lake under the current agreement, Orange County must purchase water from Durham and Cary and transfer it for local use, which he said is inefficient.
Currently the town can only access the reservoir in extreme situations, but Merklein said the water might be needed sooner than expected.
“Recent droughts have emphasized the need for a diverse water supply as we face increasingly uncertain future conditions of climate, land use and hydrology,” he said.