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 August 19, 1998 Drought Status Report
Although widespread showers helped to relieve the dry conditions across
most of the State this past week, some areas still need additional
precipitation. Several locations received rainfall in excess of five inches
this past weekend while others reported less than a quarter of an inch.
Indices by which drought is measured show that 15% of South Carolina
continues to experience moderate drought conditions with 40% of the state
in the mild drought category as of August 15, 1998. The South Carolina
Agricultural Statistics Service reported that soil moisture ended last week
at 8% very short, 24% short, 65% adequate, and 3% surplus.
The widespread showers have alleviated the moderate drought conditions
for most counties except those in the west central and parts of the southern
region where rainfall has remained limited (see Rainfall Summary Table
below). Therefore, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR)
has downgraded the moderate declaration to an incipient drought for all
counties except Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Edgefield, Hampton,
Jasper, Orangeburg, and Saluda. The moderate drought declaration remains
in effect for these counties. The four levels of drought severity and
respective responses as defined by the South Carolina Drought Response Act
of 1985 are:
Incipient - SCDNR increases monitoring activities.
Moderate - The drought is such that voluntary reductions in water use
are normally encouraged. In addition to notification, the SCDNR
activates the Drought Information Center and issues news releases
concerning drought conditions.
Severe - The drought is such that the Drought Response Committee (DRC)
may recommend that water suppliers implement voluntary or mandatory
water use restrictions. SCDNR responses may also include non-binding
mediation of water disputes.
Extreme - The drought is such the DRC may recommend that the Governor
impose mandatory water use restrictions on all affected people.
SCDNR responses continue in the same manner as above.
Despite the varying levels of drought severity, water supplies across
the State are stable. Streamflows and lake elevations reflect the rainfall
conditions with low streamflows in the west central and southern portions of
the state. Streamflows in the drier areas are less than 25% of the average
August historical flow. River flow will continue to decrease without
precipitation. Low flows impact fish and wildlife, water withdrawals, and
The SCDNR's Land, Water & Conservation Division will continue to monitor
and assess drought-related variables such as temperature, precipitation,
streamflow, ground-water levels, reservoir levels, soil moisture, and public
water supplies. The department will publish the appropriate notices in the
affected areas. Mayors, county administrators, public service districts and
local water suppliers are asked to keep their drought ordinances activated.
Integrated drought information is available on the DNR's
State Climatology Office Internet Web Site
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: MIKE HELFERT OR HOPE MIZZELL IN
COLUMBIA AT (803) 737-0800.
South Carolina Preliminary Precipitation Summary
July 20 - August 19, 1998
Station Name % of Normal Rainfall
Edisto Island 52%
Caesars Head 67%
Myrtle Beach 132%
Calhoun Falls 132%
Cedar Creek 125%
St. George 54%
Clark Hill 55%
Ware Shoals 96%
West Pelzer 66%
Find out more about the State Climatology Office at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/climate/sco/ or by calling (803) 734-9100.