Jordan Lake was impounded in 1983 by damming the Haw River slightly downstream of its confluence with New Hope Creek. It was created to provide flood control, water supply, protection of water quality downstream, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation. The lake has had water quality issues from the beginning, with the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission declaring it as nutrient-sensitive waters (NSW) the same year it was impounded. Since that time, Jordan Lake has consistently been rated as eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic, with excessive levels of nutrients present. The Jordan Lake Rules are designed to protect and improve water quality in the lake by reducing the amount of pollution entering upstream. Restoration and protection of the lake is essential because it serves as a water supply for several communities, a prime recreation area, and provides critical habitat for many plant and animal species.
Planned projects to address the Existing Development provisions of the Jordan Lake Rules have been incorporated in Carrboro's Capital Improvements Program, which will be updated annually. It is anticipated that complying with these rules could cost the Town at least $4M. Carrboro's implementation of Jordan Lake Rules stormwater provisions for new development can be found in Article XVI (Section 15-263) of the Land Use Ordinance. Carrboro's implementation of Jordan Lake Rules buffer provisions can be found in Article XVI (Section 15-269) of the Land Use Ordinance. Carrboro's implementation of Jordan Lake Rules fertilizer management requirements can be found in the Town Code Section 5-20.1