North Carolina: Resilient Regional Water Supply Project

A diverse Piedmont community bolsters its water protection as it deals with persistent drought. 

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Hillsborough, North Carolina: $1.01 Million

This is a Justice40 project.


Hillsborough is a racially diverse community that sits on the banks of the Eno River. Its population is rapidly growing, from 6,087 in 2010 to 9,660 in 2020.

Project Description

To address drought and unforeseen outage or contamination events, the Town of Hillsborough proposes to build a water booster pumping station to allow for potable water interconnection with a neighboring water provider to provide redundancy and resiliency to the Town’s potable water supply. In 2020, Hillsborough treated over 537 million gallons of drinking water for an average of 1.6 million gallons per day, treating and testing for more than 150 substances. Over the past few years, the town has experienced droughts that have impacted its ability to withdraw water as well as potential contamination in the Eno River, where the city draws its water.

In 2010 and 2011, the Piedmont region experienced 10 or more months of drought conditions, the longest consecutive stretch of drought conditions in almost a century. Additionally, Hillsborough has been placed on voluntary water restrictions intermittently since 2008. Due to low water volumes within the town’s reservoir, the town anticipates placing voluntary water restrictions in the future.

The proposal aims to build a water booster pumping station at a key location to allow for potable water to connect with the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), providing insurance and resiliency to the city’s potable water supply. Because OWASA draws from different watersheds than Hillsborough, their water supply may not be as heavily impacted by the same drought event.

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