In the public comment segment of Wednesday’s Accomack Board of Supervisors, Ken Dufty of Exmore cited an article from Atlantic Magazine on the loss of 4,000 acres of farm land in Somerset County due to salt water intrusion. Dufty said that both the Columbia and Yorktown aquifers are surrounded by salt water. He insisted it is very possible that over pumping, while it wouldn’t result in less water, could cause the mixing of salt and fresh water causing fresh water supplies to become unpotable.
In Supervisors comments, Grayson Chesser said that at the Groundwater Committee meeting earlier this week Mr. Britt McMillan again told the committee that the groundwater situation is quite stable. Chesser said that every hydrologist he has talked to gives McMillan high marks and his assurances are very encouraging.
Chesser, in response to Dufty’s comments earlier, said that land has been sinking for many years and the article in the Atlantic Magazine is old news. He cited examples like Saxis, which a hundred years ago supported a working farm, and Bernard Island which has practically disappeared but once had a working farm on it. Chesser said that all we can do is adapt to this long term trend and that farmland in low lying areas may very well disappear.