The Latest Drought Information and Ways You Can Help

Figure 1: Rainfall is down 6 inches.

Greenville Water’s service area is experiencing extremely dry weather and continued drought conditions. Anderson, Oconee, Pickens and Greenville Counties are in severe drought. As part of the Keowee-Toxaway Drought Management Advisory Group, we received an update from officials this week. Precipitation norms are nearly 2 inches below normal.

Figure 2: Drought conditions have slightly improved according to the drought monitor.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) estimates that up to 12 inches of rainfall is needed to return to normal conditions. This rain needs to be a slow, soaking rain. As a matter of perspective, Fayetteville NC received 8 inches of rain in 6 hours which resulted in major flooding during Hurricane Matthew. The area received a total of approximately 14 inches over the course of the hurricane.

Unfortunately, NOAA is predicting a less than 5% chance that we will have enough rainfall over the next four months to end the drought. Above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation will likely persist through March. These conditions intensify the impacts to agriculture, increasing concern regarding forest fires and lowering stream flow and lake levels.

As a result of these extreme conditions, we ask that our customers remain steadfast in their efforts to conserve water by minimizing the non-essential use of water. Non-essential uses include watering lawns and washing vehicles. Greenville Water recommends limiting outdoor water use to watering twice a week between the hours of 7pm and 8am for no more than 10 minutes. These recommendations will keep our water levels sufficient during this drought for essential uses, such as drinking, cooking and cleaning. For additional tips on ways that you can help to conserve water, please go to our website at www.greenvillewater.com/conservation/tips/.

Figure 3: Above normal temperatures and equal chance of above, normal or below normal precipitation are predicted through June.