PICKENS COUNTY — The Keowee-Toxaway Drought Management Advisory Group announced that the Keowee-Toxaway River Basin has entered Stage 2 of the KT Low Inflow Protocol (LIP) because of months of reduced rainfall.
The U.S. Corps of Engineers also recently declared 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 Aug. 1, 2016.
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.
“Despite somewhat cooler temperatures, the region is continuing to experience dry conditions,” said Jennifer Huff, lake services director for Duke Energy. “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.”
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 Keowee-Toxaway Drought Management Advisory Group (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.