Severe Drought Expands In Carolinas

Carolinas experiencing among worst drought conditions in southeast

Severe Drought Expands In Carolinas

Drought Monitor as of August 4, 2015

The U.S. Drought Monitor has updated its drought map, which now includes a greatly expanded Stage 2 (Severe) drought region in the Carolinas. The region overlays much of the middle and lower Catawba River basin.

Currently, water use restrictions are only voluntary, though local governments will also be evaluating the situation and possibly start issuing some mandatory restrictions.

According to Duke Energy's lake levels web page, some lakes on the Catawba River were around their target level, while others were down as much as 2.5 feet (Lake Norman) below target elevation.

If the next update of the Low Inflow Protocol (LIP) -- which factors in the U.S. Drought Monitor in deciding its stages -- also moves to Stage 2, there will be mandatory water use restrictions, including regarding lawn watering and car washing.

The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation reminds the public that one of the best ways to reduce water consumption in the basin is to reduce electrical use. The generation of electricity by coal, nuclear and natural gas facilities requires significant amounts of cooling water and ultimately comprise the majority of water consumption (net use; not available downstream because of evaporation) in the Catawba River basin.

For more information on CRF's work on water quantity issues, click here.

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Report Pollution in the Catawba River

Help protect your River! 

Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
  • Failure to control sediment from construction sites
  • Illegal clearing of buffer areas
  • Fish kills 
  • Unpermitted discharges
  • Other issues that concern you

Click here to fill out a pollution reportor to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

To report South Carolina water pollution call 1-888-481-0125.

To report North Carolina spills or fish kills, call your local regional Department of Environment & Natural Resources office during normal business hours (704-663-1699 for most Catawba basin areas or (828) 296-4500 for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and other mountain counties) or 800-858-0368 after hours.  (For more information on NC spill reporting, click here)

715 N. Church St., Suite 120 . Charlotte, NC 28202 . Phone: 704.679.9494 . Fax: 704.679.9559