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Cabarrus, Rowan more than dry

As spring begins, the cities of Concord and Kannapolis are reminding water customers that they are still under the restrictions adopted in 2009. Salisbury-Rowan Utilities customers, meanwhile, are free to use water any time.
Though Cabarrus County and more than half of Rowan County are in moderate drought — and the rest of Rowan is abnormally dry, according to the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council — Concord and Kannapolis get their water from different sources than Salisbury-Rowan Utilities.
Jim Behmer, utilities director for Salisbury, said Rowan is fortunate that its water supply begins 190 miles upstream.
“So we’re looking kind of toward the mountains and what they’re drought levels are,” he said. “We’re blessed to have the second-largest river basin in North Carolina, so when it rains in mountains, we’re good down here.”
Western North Carolina is not dry at all, according to the state drought monitoring agency.
Behmer said Salisbury-Rowan Utilities tracks not only the status of the Upper Yadkin River Basin, but water flowing down the Yadkin River as well. The average is about 2 billion gallons a day. Right now, that’s at 1.5 billion gallons a day.
“We’re in great shape,” he said. “But we do monitor, and we do always advocate good use of water.”
For customers of Concord and Kannapolis, who include residents of Landis, Harrisburg and Mount Pleasant, lawn irrigation is only allowed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Violators receive a written notice and could be fined, a press release said.
Those cities customers are also allowed to wash cars and wash down outside areas using a hand-held hose or pressure washer, both equipped with a spring-loaded nozzle. They are encouraged to limit the filling, operation or topping off of ornamental fountains and the watering of trees, flowers, shrubs, ornamental plants and vegetable gardens for plant preservation.
Automated irrigation services may be installed and activated, the cities said in the press release.
Research shows that properly maintained lawns only need one inch of water per week to thrive, and it is best to water during evening and early morning hours, the press release said.

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