From the Charlotte Observer  


Staff Writers

In Gastonia, the city still has plenty of good quality water, but continues to urge conservation, according to Ed Cross, division manager of water supply and treatment.

The city, which has mandatory Stage 2 water restrictions in place, gets its water from Mountain Island Lake and supplies the towns of Cramerton, McAdenville, Lowell, Ranlo and Clover, S.C. Cross said between 80,000 to 100,000 people depend on Gastonia for water.

The biggest impact under a Stage 3 drought would be the banning of outdoor sprinkler systems for lawns, Cross said. All outdoor watering would have to be done by hand-held nozzles.

City of Belmont officials are asking residents to cut back or stop lawn-watering, and to wait to plant or reseed lawns until the region gets significant rainfall, said City Manager Barry Webb. Belmont officials also sent out letter to its top dozen or so water users, including Spartan Dyers and Wal-Mart, letting them know Stage 3 restrictions could be coming and asking for conservation now

Current measures in Gastonia have reduced water usage by 11 percent since August, Cross said. The goal under Stage 2 restrictions is reducing usage by 5 to 10 percent.

“We’re doing relatively well,” Cross said. “But if the drought continues we’ll have to reassess things.”

His biggest concern for a Stage 4 emergency would be going to a water allocation program for residences and businesses.

“That would be phenomenally complicated,” Cross said. “But what else can you do?”