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More Charlotte area communities ask residents to conserve water

A family huddles trying to figure out their way through the Amazing Maize maze at Historic Rural Hill Farm in October 2015. Despite a persistent drought that summer, Rural Hill still managed to hold its Amazing Maize Maze.
A family huddles trying to figure out their way through the Amazing Maize maze at Historic Rural Hill Farm in October 2015. Despite a persistent drought that summer, Rural Hill still managed to hold its Amazing Maize Maze. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Concord, Kannapolis and Harrisburg asked residents on Wednesday to voluntarily conserve water amid the region’s drought.

The Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group announced on Tuesday that below normal rainfall had moved the Catawba-Wateree River Basin into Stage 1 drought levels, the second of five drought stages.

Irrigation creates the single largest demand for water in spring, summer and fall, officials in Concord, Kannapolis and Harrisburg said in a joint statement. Research shows that properly maintained lawns need only an inch of water per week to thrive, and it is best to water during the evening and early morning, officials said.

Charlotte Water on Tuesday asked its customers to also begin conserving water.

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.

Concord, Kannapolis and Harrisburg officials said users are encouraged to limit lawn irrigation and filling, operating and topping off ornamental fountains.

Residential car washing is allowed using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle.

Watering trees, flowers, shrubs, ornamental plants and vegetable gardens for plant preservation is OK, and automated irrigation services may be installed and activated. All customers are allowed to use pressure washing devices.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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