The Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group (CWWMG) serves 4,750 square miles that drain into the Catawba river, providing water for neighbors from Morganton, NC to Camden, SC.
The CWWMG exists to identify, fund, and manage projects that help extend and enhance the capacity of the Catawba-Wateree River to meet human water needs (water supply, power production, industry, agriculture, and commerce) while maintaining the ecological health of the waterway.
Catawba-Wateree Basin in Stage 1 Drought
November 1, 2016 - The Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group (CW-DMAG) announced today that continued long-term dry weather conditions 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 acorss 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.
"The lack of widespread precipitation the past few months, especially in the upper basin, has resulted in additional loss of reservoir water storage", said Ed Bruce, PE, Duke Energy CW-DMAG coordinator. "We are asking the community to conserve water and energy as we move through the typically dry late-fall period."
Below normal rainfall that began earlier this year has pushed two of the three LIP drought indicators (triggers) into Stage 1. Water storage in the 11-reservoir Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project has declined since the summer mnths and streamflows feeding the reservoirs are well below normal for this time of year. In addition, the U.S. Drought Monitor trigger indicates that parts of the basin are experiencing worsening drought conditions. In August, 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.
"We want to be proactive in making the community aware of increased drought conditions and ask our customers to be mindful of water use," explained Barry McKinnon, PE, Mooresville Public Utilities Director. "The sooner we start conserving, the better for our region as we work together to preserve our shared water resources."
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 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 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.