Water suppliers in the upper Catawba River basin loosened water-use restrictions slightly last week.
Unless drought conditions worsen, customers may now water their yards twice a week rather than just once a week through at least Nov. 30.
The suppliers include Hickory and its customers, along with Lenoir, Morganton, Conover, Claremont, Granite Falls, Valdese, Long View, Maiden and community water systems such as water corporations.
Though recent rains have improved water supplies, stream flows and groundwater levels are still below normal, and forecasters predict a drier than normal fall, according to Kevin Greer, Hickory's public utilities director. Therefore, all other water restrictions are still in effect.
Hannah Mitchell: 1-800-283-6459, ext. 7333.