Region enters 1st stage of drought

UPSTATE — The Keowee-Toxaway Drought Management Advisory Group announced Tuesday that despite recent rainfall and cooler temperatures the Keowee-Toxaway River Basin entered Stage 1 of its Low Inflow Protocol (LIP).

Stage 1 is the second of five drought stages outlined in the LIP and recommends voluntary water conservation by water users across the basin. The Keowee-Toxaway River Basin is a tributary to the Savannah River Basin.

The LIP is a regional drought management plan used by major water users in the Keowee-Toxaway Basin to share responsibility and set priorities for water conservation. The plan outlines specific actions for each stage. Stages of the LIP are based on defined triggers, including reservoir storage and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Drought Plan status, the U.S. Drought Monitor and stream flow.

“The LIP is a coordinated effort to ensure we conserve our shared water resources by proactively planning and responding to changing conditions,” Duke Energy director of water strategy and hydro licensing Jeff Lineberger explained. “Residents and other water users are asked to help limit water use.”

In Stage 1, neighbors on Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee who withdraw water for irrigation purposes are asked to voluntarily limit their water withdrawals to two days a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Other large water users in the basin, as a goal, will adjust their practices to limit water withdrawals.

“We support a collaborative approach to ensuring the availability of our region’s water resources,” Greenville Water CEO David Bereskin said. “We will continue educating our customers on using water wisely and promoting smart conservation practices.”

The Keowee-Toxaway Drought Management Advisory Group regularly reviews the drought status and recommends coordinated response efforts when the LIP is initiated. The group consists of representatives from Duke Energy, large water users and federal and state resource agencies. The advisory group and the LIP are outcomes of Duke Energy’s relicensing process for the Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project.

Learn more about the advisory group at