For weeks we’ve been showing the “drought monitor” in our weathercasts. It’s a national indicator of drought levels.
The South Carolina Drought Response Committee localizes this data, and today they raised the drought status across the Upstate…putting Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson counties under a “severe” drought…with the rest of the Upstate classified as “moderate”.
This status is based on a combination of rainfall, lake and river levels, well levels, soil moisture, and forest fire potential. They also take into account long-term forecasts, which currently indicate below-normal winter precipitation across the south through winter.
In the Upstate…stream flows, and soil moisture have been hardest hit. Lake levels have also taken a hit, particularly from Jocassee through Keowee and Hartwell.
The committee indicates that while drinking supplies are currently adequate, a prolonged dry spell could result in supply issues.
Conditions are much different in the Pee Dee and the Lowcountry, where extreme rainfall from Hurricane Matthew helped to eliminate all drought designations for these areas.
In the Upstate, there aren’t any water restrictions yet. Now’s a good time to start conserving…especially by cutting back on outdoor water use…so that we don’t have to face restrictions in the future.
To see the SC Drought Response Committee’s press release, click here.