South Carolina Drought News Release
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Land, Water and Conservation Division
South Carolina Drought Response Program
Department of Natural Resources News (803) 734-4133
SPECIAL NEWS RELEASE #99 - 58 September 23, 1999
SEVERE DROUGHT CONTINUES IN NORTHWESTERN SOUTH CAROLINA
In the face of continuing and increasingly severe drought conditions in the northwest
region of the state, the Northwest Drought Response Committee (for the counties of
Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union) met
Tuesday, Sept. 21 at Table Rock State Park to address the drought situation.
"Rainfall received from passing showers has
not been sufficient to alleviate the severe conditions," said Dennis Chastain,
Northwest Drought Committee member. "A drought of this magnitude doesn't occur
in a single season or even a single year. This is a result of almost two years of
rain deficit so it is not going to be solved by one front coming our way and dropping even
several inches of rain."
"Several months of above-normal to normal
rainfall is the only solution to the serious water shortage problems," said Hope
Mizzell, S.C. Drought Program coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources
(DNR). Tom Garrison, chairman of the Anderson Soil and Water Conservation District
and local farmer, said "This is worst agricultural drought coupled with low
commodities I have experienced."
The Northwest Drought Committee is especially
concerned about those persons depending on shallow wells as their only source of water
supply. Some private well owners are already reporting problems of wells going dry.
Shallow-well users should begin considering additional sources of water or lowering
The regional committee requests that all water
suppliers in the counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens,
Spartanburg and Union implement their drought ordinances and plans and report their
actions to the Drought Information Center in Columbia at (803)737-0800. The committee
decided not to request area-wide mandatory water restrictions. However, the
committee strongly recommends that those water suppliers experiencing problems should
implement mandatory conservation. The committee will provide full support for these
decisions. The public is encouraged to conduct voluntary water conservation as a
contingency until water levels are restored.
The Northwest Regional Drought Committee will
convene 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, at Table Rock State Park to assess reports from
individual water suppliers and dischargers reporting problems. The DNR will continue
to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed. The public should contact the
Drought Information Center at (803)737-0800 for more information or if other problems
Find out more about the State Climatology Office at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/ or by calling (803) 734-9100.