In 2008, the Wake County Board of Commissioners and its municipal partners from the City of Raleigh and the towns of Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon entered into the Little River Reservoir Water Supply Watershed Protection Interlocal Agreement (ILA). Adopting the ILA was one of the first steps taken to obtain the necessary permits for the proposed drinking water reservoir. The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department continues to consider the Little River Reservoir a key source of drinking water for the future. The primary purpose of the ILA:
- To protect the water quality of the future reservoir
- To limit development in the watershed to mostly single-family homes
- To limit non-residential uses to areas defined as "activity centers."
The ILA governing partners amended the 2008 interlocal agreement in 2016 to clarify what types of non-residential uses can be developed or expanded within the Little River Reservoir Watershed Boundary. In particular, the discussion focused on public parks, fire stations, police stations, places of worship, cell towers and solar farms located outside of activity centers.