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2020 10 28 Lake Keowee 8x10

  Nov 09, 2023

Continued dry weather puts Keowee-Toxaway basin in Stage 2 drought

The Keowee-Toxaway Drought Management Advisory Group (KT-DMAG) announced that the Keowee-Toxaway (KT) River Basin has entered Stage 2 of the KT Low Inflow Protocol (LIP) on Nov. 6, 2023. This comes after months of reduced rainfall, and the U.S. Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently declaring Level 2 of their drought plan for the downstream federal projects.

Stage 2 is the third of five drought stages outlined in the LIP. Stage 1 was reached on Oct. 1, 2023.

Water conservation is recommended by water users across the basin.

Neighbors on Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee who withdraw water for irrigation purposes must 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.

"The region is continuing to experience dry conditions," explained Jeff Lineberger, Duke Energy’s general manager of water strategy, hydro licensing and lake services. "We want to thank residents for supporting water conservation efforts and ask everyone withdrawing irrigation water from Lake Keowee or Lake Jocassee to limit watering to the two designated days per week," Lineberger added.

“We support a collaborative approach to ensure we conserve our shared water resources by proactively planning and responding to changing conditions,” said Bob Faires, director of utilities with Seneca Light & Water. “We continue to ask our customers to help limit water use.”

The LIP is a regional drought management plan used by major water users in the Keowee-Toxaway river 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. USACE Drought Plan status, the U.S. Drought Monitor and stream flow. These triggers are reviewed monthly. The KT-DMAG reviews these triggers monthly during drought conditions.

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

The Keowee-Toxaway River Basin is a tributary to the Savannah River Basin.

Learn more about the KT-DMAG at duke-energy.com/lakes/ktdmag.asp.