By JONATHAN COX
The 2007 drought left many Lake Norman docks high and dry, hurt the local tourism industry, and prompted the advocacy group American Rivers to rank the Catawba River as the most endangered river in the US. As the Lake Norman region’s growing population puts more pressure on water resources, officials are concerned that a similar drought in the future could lead to water rationing and drive away businesses and tourists.
At a forum last week hosted by the Lake Norman Chamber, Barry Gullet of Charlotte Water said the 2007 drought was a wake-up call.
“The drought taught us pretty quickly that the Catawba River is limited, and that if we keep doing the things we’re doing and if growth continues, we’re going to hit the capacity of the river by the middle of this century,” he said. Confronted with limited water resources, the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group has created a master plan to ensure that the region has enough water to support economic and population growth until 2100. Read the full story