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This morning the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group (DMAG) announced a regional escalation to Drought Stage 1.

Charlotte Water joins the other 40+ members of the DMAG in asking customers to:
• Please only irrigate on Tuesdays and Saturdays between 6pm—6am if you must irrigate
• Limit landscape watering of no more than one inch of water per week, this includes rain
• Please conserve all water use indoors and outdoors
• Please refrain from outdoor water use during the day (6am to 6pm) to reduce evaporation losses
• Please refrain from filling pools
• Only top off swimming pools on Thursday and Sundays, between 6pm - 6am
• Please discontinue operation of fountains and other ornamental water features that do not sustain aquatic animal life

Residential Customer Voluntary Restrictions:
• Do not wash vehicles at home, please use commercial car wash locations that recycle water instead
• Please refrain from residential power washing

Commercial Customer Voluntary Restrictions:
• Businesses should educate employees and customers about water conservation practices
• Charity groups should consider alternatives to car washes for fundraising activities
• Property managers should repair known water leaks and increase plumbing inspection frequency
• Fleet managers should reduce car washing frequency

Dry weather conditions and above-average temperatures have placed the Catawba-Wateree River Basin in Stage 1 of the Low Inflow Protocol (LIP). Stage 1 is the second of five drought stages outlined in the LIP and recommends voluntary water conservation by water users across the Basin, in addition to operational adjustments by Duke Energy. The LIP is the drought management plan major water users in the region employ to share responsibility and set priorities to conserve the limited water supply during drought conditions. As described in the LIP, Duke Energy starts reducing water releases from the dams at Stage 0 and continues with Lake Level adjustments and additional release modifications when the region meets the thresholds for Stage 1 or higher.

Earlier this month, the Catawba-Wateree River Basin entered Stage 0 of the LIP which is a drought watch stage and prompted the CW-DMAG to closely monitor conditions. After observing declining trends in the triggers, the group decided to proactively declare Stage 1 conditions. Data collected to make drought stage decisions includes the US Drought Monitor, measurements from a network of watershed streamflow gauges and lake levels.

The last time Charlotte Water declared Drought Stage 1 conservation efforts was in 2011. During the Drought of Record (’08-’09), prolonged hot and dry conditions through 2008 and into 2009 moved the region from Drought Stage 1 through Stages 2 and 3. Mandatory water use restrictions are called for when the utility reaches Drought Stage 2 or higher.

 

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