US utilities establish interim water management plan

Duke Energy

The interim plan will help manage the use of water in Lakes Keowee. Photo: glassblower.

Duke Energy, Greenville Water and Seneca Light & Water have established an interim plan to manage the use of water resources in the US.

The interim water management plan allows the firms to manage the use of water in Lakes Keowee and Jocassee and the Bad Creek reservoir, South Carolina, during drought conditions. Duke Energy manages the lakes for electricity production, while Seneca Light & Water and Greenville Water withdraw water from Lake Keowee for drinking water and other public water system uses.

Jeff Lineberger, Duke Energy hydro strategy and licensing director, said the plan gives Duke a starting point for developing a longer term low inflow protocol, as part of renewing the license for the Keowee-Toxaway hydroelectric project.

Greenville Water CEO David Bereskin added that his company will increase communications to educate residents about ways to reduce water use. “We are constantly monitoring the lake levels and making adjustments to ensure an adequate water supply, and we have reduced our use of Lake Keowee by 25% through effective management of our reservoirs,” he said.

The water management plan includes coordinated regular phone calls and data sharing; reduced water withdrawals for public water supply from Lake Keowee by 3-30%, depending on the severity of the drought conditions; urging water conservation throughout the basin, as well as requiring watering restrictions for lake residents. Given the reduced rainfall in recent months, the Keowee-Toxaway basin currently is in drought Stage 2 as defined by the plan, Duke Energy said.

Greenville Water provides service to nearly 450,000 residents of the Upstate region of South Carolina. Seneca Light & Water provides water, sewer and electric service to the City of Seneca and surrounding areas.

Find out more here.

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