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River Basins in North Carolina
courtesy of Joshua Harris, City of Lenoir Director of Communication & Public Information

Stage One Drought Declared in Catawba River Basin

Communities throughout the Catawba River Basin are asking customers to conserve water due to decreasing stream flows, groundwater levels, and lake storage levels.

The City of Hickory, other major water suppliers along the Catawba River, and Duke Energy participate in a joint effort to properly manage water resources available within the Catawba River Basin. The group has worked cooperatively over the past 20 years to develop the Low Inflow Protocol (L.I.P.), which water suppliers and Duke Energy use to manage water resources.

Hickory City Manager Warren Wood is declaring a Stage One L.I.P. condition due to decreasing stream flows, lower groundwater table elevation, and decreased lake storage levels caused by a lack of rain this year. Hotter temperatures during the summer months led to seasonal elevated evaporation from the area’s lakes.

Stage One L.I.P. is the first stage of voluntary water use conservation. The goal is to reduce water use by 3-to-5%. Residents are asked to:

  • Water outdoors with the intention of applying no more than one inch per week to grasses and shrubs.
  • Turn water off while brushing your teeth or washing your face, and…
  • Repair leaking faucets and/or toilets.

Customers are asked to meet and continue the 3-to-5% water use reduction goal until further notice. For more information, visit