Droughts & Water Conservation

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Shelby’s water comes from the surface water source of the First Broad River that flows along the west side of town. The City is permitted to withdraw up to 18 million gallons per day (MGD) from the First Broad River. In times of severe drought, the City is capable of utilizing the Broad River for up to 9 MGD for secondary backup water supply.

The City of Shelby monitors conditions in our watershed while managing water resources and reservoirs 24 hours seven days a week. During times of severe drought, water supplies often become critically low. Water-use restrictions can be imposed so priority can be given to water needed for drinking and sanitation, while certain luxury uses of water, such as lawn watering and car washing, are not permitted.

What is a drought?

A drought on the ground and "drought" in terms of water supply status are different distinctions. While the two sometimes go hand-in-hand, a weather-based drought does not always translate into a city declaring watering restrictions based on their existing and projected water supply levels. Two sources for monitoring the drought in our area are the websites for the NC Drought Management Advisory Council and the US Drought Monitor.

What are the stages of the City's water shortage plan?

  • Stage I - Voluntary Reductions
    • Water users are encourages to reduce their water use and improve water use efficiency; however, no penalties apply for noncompliance. Water supply conditions indicate a potential for shortage.
  • Stage II - Mandatory Reductions I
    • Water users must abide by required water use reduction and efficiency measures; penalties apply for noncompliance. Water supply conditions are significantly lower than the seasonal norm and water shortage conditions are expected to persist.
  • Stage III - Mandatory Reductions II
    • Same in Stage II
  • Stage IV - Emergency Reductions
    • Water supply conditions are substantially diminished and pose an imminent threat to human health or environmental integrity.
  • Stage V - Water Rationing
    • Water supply conditions are substantially diminished and remaining supplies must be allocated to preserve human health and environmental integrity.

What can I do to help?

A few tips to help conserve water:water-drop-logo

  • Monitor your own water use on your monthly water bill
  • Use less water by taking shorter showers, and turning off the tap while shaving and washing dishes
  • Check for and repair leaking faucets and toilets
  • Invest in a new water efficient toilet and/or shower head
  • Wash full loads of laundry
  • Purchase a rain barrel
  • Use drought friendly plants in your yard

Additional Sources for Conservation Tips

Please continue to use our water wisely and conserve our most valuable natural resource.