Soon after the Morgantown Water Commission built the dam that created the Cobun Creek Reservoir in 1958, it took the prudent step of buying 100 acres farther up Cobun Creek in case a time should come when more water storage would be needed. Now is that time: Cobun Creek Reservoir holds just three days’ backup supply for the population served with drinking water by today’s Morgantown Utility Board.

In July, MUB broke ground on the George B. Flegal Dam and Reservoir, named for the man who spearheaded the purchase of the upstream land in 1960. Our headline is a gratuitous pun, but the big new dam will be almost as tall as Woodburn Hall and a sixth of a mile long and will retain 370 million gallons of water—that’s five Coliseums full, or 30 days’ supply. After the reservoir is filled in 2020, Morgantown will be able to stay safely hydrated through a significant contaminant spill in the Monongahela River or an unusually long dry spell.

Then & Now is published in partnership with WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center.

 

Featured photo courtesy of Morgantown Utility Board

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