Nearly 75 percent of N.C. in drought

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Photo credit: NCDrought.org
  • Photo credit: NCDrought.org

I know it may be difficult to believe, what with the crazy storms Charlotte has experienced lately, but most of North Carolina is experiencing a drought.

From the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources:

The N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council has scheduled a July 21 meeting in Williamston to discuss serious impacts the drought is having on farms and others and how the state can prepare should conditions worsen.

The council will meet at 10 a.m. July 21 at the Senator Bob Martin Eastern Agriculture Center,2900 N.C. 125 South, Williamston. The center is about 104 miles east of Raleigh off U.S. 64 (exit 512).

Drought and dry conditions are blanketing nearly three-fourths of North Carolina, according to Thursday’s federal drought map, which can be seen at www.ncdrought.org. Drought is based on the impacts a lack of rainfall is having on streams, lakes, water supplies, agriculture and forests. Ten North Carolina counties are in extreme drought, the third worst level in the four-category system. Twenty counties are experiencing severe drought, the second worst level in the system. Nineteen counties are in the system’s least severe category, moderate drought, and 22 counties are abnormally dry.

At the July 21 meeting, the council will discuss the impacts of the drought, what North Carolinians can expect in the coming weeks and the state’s efforts to carry out laws aimed at improving drought preparation and response. One of the meeting’s main topics will be how rainfall deficits are impacting agriculture, where the drought is taking its greatest toll.

The N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council is made up of experts on drought, climate, water and forest resources, geology, agriculture and water conservation. The July 21 meeting is only the second in-person meeting in 2011. However, the technical drought advisory team made of members from the council discusses rainfall and climate conditions during a weekly conference call. The team uses the latest information to produce a recommendation for the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Drought Monitor uses the team’s recommendation to complete a map depicting areas experiencing drought, abnormally dry and normal conditions. The map and other information the council and the U.S. Drought Monitor generate aims to help public water systems, elected officials and residents in North Carolina better prepare for possible water shortages and other drought impacts.

If you can’t attend the July 21 meeting, you can still watch the presentations and listen to the meeting from your computer by logging on to https://denr.ncgovconnect.com/dwr/. If you have questions, please contact Woody Yonts, the advisory council’s director, at (919) 715-5453 or woody.yonts@ncdenr.gov.

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