Overview of Water Use Issues

The Catawba-Wateree basin has finite water resources, but most of us treat water as if there is an infinite supply of water available for our use.

The average Charlotte area resident uses 190 gallons of water from the Catawba River per day per person.  However, this is not the biggest use of water.  It is a surprise to most people that almost half of the net loss of water from the Catawba River is a result of evaporation from water used to cool powerplants. On average, each kilowatt-hour generated from coal requires 25 gallons of water according to a 2007 report by the federal Sandia National Laboratories. The average U.S. home uses about 8,900 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.  Thus, the average household requires 610 gallons of water per day per household for electricity generated from coal (in addition to the 190 gallons per person per day used directly by residents in Charlotte).  We can significantly reduce the water lost from cooling powerplants by reducing the amount of electricity we use and by requiring powerplants to use more water-efficient cooling technology.

How We Use Water in the Catawba Basin

 

  • Click here for a library of documents on water efficiency.
  •  Click here a library of documents on drought issues.
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    News
    Jan 25, 2017 NC Riverkeeper Report
    From the perspectives of 12 NC Riverkeepers, this report discusses how multiple environmental issues pose challenges in the pursuit of clean, plentiful water. Whether you are in North Carolina or downstream in South Carolina, read this report about the state of environmental enforcement.
    Dec 13, 2016 Community Foundation of Gaston County grants $5,000 to CRF for Riverkeeper Program
    The Community Foundation will fund Catawba Riverkeeper's work in Gaston County.
    Dec 12, 2016 A Successful Launch of our Water Education Program at Great Falls Elementary
    Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in partnership with 4-H Clemson Cooperative Extension successfully completed our pilot Education Outreach Program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from Great Falls Elementary.
    Sep 27, 2016 Lake Wateree Fall Cleanup a Sweeping Success
    86 volunteers collected 5,490 pounds of trash from Lake Wateree
    Jun 13, 2016 Dozens of Youth Reached in Water Education Outreach Program Pilot Lessons
    More news…
    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 report or 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)

    Alliances

    The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare North Carolina, the North Carolina Conservation Network, River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.  It also in in an alliance with Clean Air Carolina to address issues, such as sprawl, that cause air and water problems.

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