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November 1, 2007

Water customers encouraged to conserve

Following Governor Mark Sanford’s request for voluntary water conservation, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources has contacted state water system administrators to promote conservation efforts.
Despite recent rains, drought conditions continue to deteriorate and in a letter on Monday to water providers, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) renewed Governor Sanford’s request for voluntary water conservation and asked providers to encourage customers to conserve water.

"In light of Governor Sanford’s call for voluntary water conservation, we’re asking water providers to encourage their individual customers to curtail water use," according to Steve de Kozlowski, DNR-Land, Water, and Conservation Division Interim Deputy Director. "Due to the statewide severity of the drought both in our state and in the headwaters of our river basins in North Carolina and along the Savannah River, DNR is seeking widespread cooperation in this effort to conserve water. Voluntarily conserving now will hopefully help avoid more stringent restrictions later if the drought continues."

The majority of the State’s unregulated streams are at or near record low flows for this time of year.  Most of the lakes are at much below normal levels, lower than levels during the 1998-2002 record drought.  According to the DNR Hydrology office, rivers in the Pee Dee Basin responded to heavy rains last week, which helped to temporarily stabilize flows.  However, without continued rainfall the flows will quickly decline to below normal levels. Elsewhere in the state rainfall amounts were generally less than 1" resulting in only minimal flow increases. 

The long-range outlook, for the remainder of fall and winter, calls for below normal precipitation, according to state climatologist Hope Mizzell.

DNR is encouraging water administrators to report conservation measures to DNR and to monitor water system conservation efforts. The site includes some of the conservation actions already in place.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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