Drought in the Catawba River basin isn’t over despite recent rainfall, a drought management group said Friday.
The group uses lake levels, stream flows and the U.S. Drought Monitor, a widely watched index, to determine drought stages.
Catawba lakes are now at normal levels, Duke Energy, the Catawba’s manager, told the Catawba/Wateree River Basin Advisory Commission Friday.
The six-month average of stream flows is also expected to continue increasing over the next two months. The three-month average of the Drought Monitor should return to normal conditions by the end of November, Duke said.
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That leaves the basin at the first of four drought stages, which calls for voluntary conservation and for Duke to reduce its releases of water from dams.
Charlotte, at mid-basin, has received 5.5 inches of rain in October. Rainfall is still 4 inches below normal for the year.