Drought Watch in Effect

Charlotte, N.C. (WJZY) -- The Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group is says a drought watch is in effect all the way from Lenoir, North Carolina to Camden, South Carolina.

So the question is: To water? Or not to water?

When it comes to watering the tall trees in his mother’s yard, Ed Grain doesn't see that he has much of a choice.
"If they die out, some of the bigger ones then topple on the house. Mom already had some topple on the house before in Hugo. We don't want any of the rest of these to get bad enough that a good strong breeze and over they come," said Grain.
Charlotte City Water is asking folks to voluntarily start conserving more water. That’s because we are in a drought watch. It’s not an official drought, at least not yet. 

"I don't really want mom's yard to go kaput, but if they need to turn the water off, they need to turn the water off. It’s more important people have something to drink than the trees," said Grain.

The drought watch not only means we need to use less water, but also be more careful when we're on the water.

"For people who are trying to enjoy and recreate on the water, it becomes a significant safety issue. Lower water means things that were pretty well submerged are closer to the surface. People can jump in and hit them, boats can hit them, you certainly have the potential to get caught and drown," said Sam Perkins, the Catawba Riverkeeper. 

Grain says while we wait for Mother Nature to give us some rain, we'll likely be stuck with high temperatures.

"You have cool water falling from the atmosphere regularly cooling off pavement, cooling off the ground; it truly makes a difference in the temperature. When you don't have your regular rain events, you start to dry out the ground, you do get warmer temperatures," said Perkins.

Until we start getting some serious rain, Charlotte City Water asks that we all refrain from watering our yards and washing our cars. Again, right now, this is just voluntary water conservation.

However, if we progress into a drought, then conservation will become mandatory. A first offense could get you a fine of a hundred dollars.