High temperatures lowering lake levels

LAKE NORMAN, NORTH CAROLINA - Temperatures approaching 100 degrees have started to slowly sap away the water Lake Norman had gained in the past six months.

The lake level at Lake Norman has dipped 0.3 feet in the past 10 days. While that put the lake at its target level, the rapid evaporation, and the expected dry, hot conditions of the next week, will keep Duke Energy officials and others monitoring the water. Duke is in a Stage 3 drought program.

Duke Energy spokeswoman Marilyn Lineberger said the Drought Management Advisory Group - which includes Duke Energy, local municipalities and local businesses - won't make any decisions about further restrictions until its June 25 meeting. Duke Energy is not granting permits for new pumps at residential properties and said other properties also face restrictions.

Lake residents can still pump water from the lake on Saturdays, but that could change if the high evaporation levels continue, officials said.

"We weren't seeing conditions like this until August last year," Joe Klutz of Duke Energy told the Lake Norman Marine Commission. Lineberger said the group will look at drought monitors, stream flows, lake levels and other indicators to make a determination.

Each jurisdiction makes its own decisions, while Duke controls lake pumps and lake levels.

"Droughts evolve over a period of time," Lineberger said. "Collaboration is very important." Lineberger said that includes conserving resources.

"Everyone, whether they are on the lake or not, needs to change their behavior," Lineberger said. "We all need to conserve water. That goes a long way."


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