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Catawba-Wateree River Basin recovers to Stage 0 drought due to recent rainfall
The Catawba-Wateree River Basin has recovered to Stage 0 drought condition or level of the Low Inflow Protocol (LIP), according to the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group (CW-DMAG).
The LIP is the drought management plan major water users of the basin employ to share responsibility and set priorities to conserve the limited water supply during drought conditions. Stage 0 is the first of five drought stages and alerts the CW-DMAG members to monitor conditions.
Stage 1, which was announced by the group in November 2016, recommended voluntary water conservation by water users across the basin, in addition to operational adjustments by Duke Energy.
“The increase in precipitation during May and June, especially in the upper basin, has significantly increased water reservoir storage,“ said Ed Bruce, P.E., Duke Energy, CW-DMAG coordinator. “In addition, the U.S. Drought Monitor trigger indicates drought conditions have improved.”
The CW-DMAG will continue monitoring the drought conditions and work collectively to protect the water supply and other uses of the Catawba-Wateree River.
The Catawba-Wateree River spans more than 200 river miles across nine counties in North Carolina and five counties in South Carolina. Duke Energy manages the chain of 11 lakes along the river and operates 13 hydropower stations as an integrated system.
The Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group (CW-DMAG) was established in 2006 to monitor drought status and to recommend coordinated actions for the CW-DMAG members. CW-DMAG members include the area’s public water suppliers and several large industries withdrawing water from the Catawba-Wateree River and lake system, North Carolina, South Carolina, federal resource agencies and Duke Energy.
The CW-DMAG and the LIP are outcomes of Duke Energy’s relicensing process for the Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project. The LIP is part of Duke Energy’s new license issued in 2015 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The CW-DMAG meets at least monthly when conditions reach Stage 0 or greater of the LIP. For more information about the CW-DMAG and the LIP, visit www.duke-energy.com/lakes/cwdmag.asp.
If community members have specific questions about recommended measures, they are encouraged to contact the City of Belmont Water and Sewer Department.