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Charlotte residents, businesses asked to voluntarily conserve water

John Kirkland of Charlotte walks on the dried flats of the Catawba River in western Mecklenburg County in December 2011.
John Kirkland of Charlotte walks on the dried flats of the Catawba River in western Mecklenburg County in December 2011. tsumlin@charlotteobnserver.com

Charlotte Water asked its customers on Tuesday to begin voluntarily conserving water as the region’s drought intensified.

Dry weather and above-average temperatures have placed the Catawba-Wateree river basin in Drought Stage 1, the second of five drought stages.

Customers are asked to irrigate only between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays, if they must irrigate at all.

Other requests for residents:

▪ Do not wash vehicles at home. Instead, use commercial car washes that recycle water.

▪ Refrain from power-washing homes and filling swimming pools. Top off pools only between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays.

▪ Stop using fountains and other ornamental water displays that do not sustain animal life.

Charity groups are asked to consider alternatives to car washes as fundraisers.

Property managers should repair known water leaks and increase plumbing inspections. Fleet managers are asked to reduce the frequency of car washing.

Rainfall at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in October was 0.62 inches below normal, even with Hurricane Matthew, said Scott Krentz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C. “If it wasn’t for Matthew, you would have been totally dry,” he said.

“No real rain maker” is forecast for Charlotte in at least the next seven days, Krentz said. A high pressure system will keep Gulf of Mexico moisture well to the west, in Louisiana and Arkansas, he said.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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