KLRWS may enact voluntary water conservation

Henderson Assistant City Manager Frank Frazier told council members at yesterday’s meeting that staff has been monitoring levels in Kerr Lake.

Kerr Lake supplies drinking water to Henderson, Oxford, Warren County, Franklin County, Kittrell, and Stovall.

He said that the city “is not in any crisis”, but that it is looking towards water conservation.

Water treatment facility Director Christy Lipscomb advised the council that the lake’s level is down to 295.3 feet, down four feet from last year. She said that the water shortage response plan asks for voluntary conservation when the lake reaches 292 feet.

Noting that Warren County is about to go into “severe drought” conditions, she said that she would recommend to City Manager Ray Griffin and Frazier that the city begin voluntary conservation in “the next couple of weeks if we don’t see a substantial rainfall.”

When asked how the plan would work by member Lonnie Davis, Lipscomb responded that a special meeting of the Kerr Lake Regional Water System would be called and partners would be instructed. Once Henderson, the majority partner in the system, enacts voluntary conservation, the other members will follow suit.

“What’s the nightmare number,” member Garry Daeke asked Lipscomb, referring to lake level.

“275,” Lipscomb replied.

The intake system at the Kerr Lake water treatment facility was modified to take in water from that depth approximately six years ago.

Rainey asked how many days of rain are needed to restore normal water levels at the lake. Lipscomb said that it depends on how much it rains to the north of Henderson. On a somber note, the water treatment director said that the National Weather Service and the Army Corps of Engineers are predicting a dry winter.