Charlotte Water Request

Protecting the Catawba River for all uses – water supply, recreation, economic development, power generation and wildlife habitat – is critical. We are at the very start of a long, several year process for the Charlotte Water Interbasin Transfer and I will advocate until the final vote.

Beth Heile kayaking on Lake Rhodhiss

That said, it is difficult to hit a moving target with the wrong arrow. More information is needed to effectively state a position regarding the Charlotte Water IBT request. The 10-year-old Water Supply Master Plan being updated by the Catawba Wateree Water Management Group is critical in getting current data for net withdrawal rates by subbasin, breakdown by user category, understanding our more frequent drought patterns and evaporation rates and evaluating modern stewardship practices.

I feel the critical time to respond will be when the 2024 Master Plan is complete, and Charlotte Water has submitted their true ask (as they are saying up to 30 million additional gallons – not sure exactly) through an Environmental Impact Statement to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. With that knowledge, one can clearly articulate a justification regarding the best path forward for all 11 reservoirs along the Catawba River and hit the bull’s eye.

At the May 8, 2024 Hickory public input meeting that I attended, most just stood up and said — “don’t take our water” for all the valid reasons of hurting our growth, drought, recreation, water quality. But no one had any facts to say “we need this many gallons now and this is the growth we project that we will need so many gallons going forward.” The 2024 master plan update will help with the facts and it should be ready before the next steps in the request process. 2014 Water Supply Master Plan

Hickory May 8 Meeting

I think it is important to be at the July 15 meeting in Morganton to show numbers, but I do not think we have the facts yet to effectively fight the Charlotte request.

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