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Catawba-Wateree basin in drought watch
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rought Management Advisory Group (CW-DMAG) today announced that dry weather conditions have placed the Catawba-Wateree River Basin in Stage 0 of the Low Inflow Protocol (LIP).  Stage 0 is a drought watch stage that alerts the CW-DMAG members to monitor conditions more closely.

“There are no required actions by the community at this stage, but water and energy conservation are always encouraged, especially with high temperatures and dry conditions expected through the summer,” said Ed Bruce, P.E., Duke Energy, CW-DMAG coordinator. “We will continue to monitor conditions and provide updates as needed as part of our responsibilities of our new license for the Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project.”

Below normal rainfall has triggered two of the three LIP drought indicators to Stage 0: water storage and the U. S. Drought Monitor. Water storage in the 11-reservoir Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project is slightly below target levels due to infrequent rain events this spring and increased reservoir evaporation. In addition, the U.S. Drought Monitor trigger indicates some of the basin is experiencing drought conditions. 

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. The focus of the LIP is managing the water supply and conservation activities. Stage 0 is the first of five drought stages outlined in the LIP and is a drought watch stage.

“The CW-DMAG has learned a great deal from the region’s past droughts,” Brad Boris, Water Resources Director, City of Morganton, N.C. said. “The LIP is the application of that knowledge to today’s conditions in order to limit the impact drought conditions could have on residents and businesses of the basin.”

The CW-DMAG will continue to monitor the drought conditions and work together to protect the water supply and other uses of the Catawba-Wateree River. The CW-DMAG stresses that wise water and energy use and voluntary conservation are always beneficial.

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 industrial users withdrawing water from the rivers and lake system in the basin, North Carolina and South Carolina resource agencies, the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal agencies and Duke Energy.  The CW-DMAG and the LIP are outcomes of Duke Energy’s relicensing process for the Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project.  For more information about the CW-DMAG and the LIP, visit www.duke-energy.com/lakes/cwdmag.asp.