60% of the human body is made up of water! And, in Northern Virginia, a very substantial amount of the water you drink is filtered and protected by the parklands of NOVA Parks (Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority).
In 1959, the importance of water and connection with protected land was already well known by policy makers. This is one of the reasons that multiple counties and cities in Northern Virginia came together and created the only regional park system in Virginia. The first act of the newly formed park system was to buy land along the Bull Run/Occoquan Rivers. Today, this area has 19 miles of shoreline, and over 4,000 acres of land are protected by NOVA Parks. The significance of this is that the Occoquan Reservoir is the drinking water source for over 1 million people.
Other sources of drinking water include the Potomac River. On the Potomac, NOVA Parks has 11.5 miles of shoreline and over 5,500 acres of land. A third source of drinking water comes from the Goose Creek, and along that waterway, NOVA Parks has five miles of shoreline and 1,000 acres at Beaverdam Reservoir. At the Beaverdam property, we are co-building a park with Loudoun Water, and with Fairfax Water, we serve to protect the Occoquan Reservoir and own the land around the Potomac River intake. These water authorities provide the drinking water for much of the region.