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Report: Cabarrus water supply, demand in balance for county’s future

KANNAPOLIS — On Monday evening, Kannapolis City Council heard a presentation about projected water and sewer needs in Cabarrus County reaching to the year 2040 — and learned that supply should be able to meet demand.

A team from the Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC) covered highlights of the organization’s master plan. Consultants were led by GHD and supported by LandDesign, Noell Consulting Group and Willis Engineers.

The WSACC growth model is made up of four components: municipal utility service area projections, available land supply, generalized future land use, and land use suitability. Along with Kannapolis, member jurisdictions include Cabarrus County, Concord, Harrisburg, Midland and Mount Pleasant.

Council viewed detailed maps of existing land use, current water demand by basin, a land supply map, and a future land use map. Of special interest was water supply versus requirements, especially in the event of an extreme drought.

Water demand projections are a key component of the master plan, said Chuck Willis of Willis Engineers. The plan presents a detailed analysis of water needs in the future, he said, and that need is on the rise.

“We see that trend continuing,” he said. “We have a good track record of demand management or water restriction.”

Such a scenario must be considered because of the two “50-year droughts” that occurred in 2002 and 2008. By 2040, he said, demand could peak at more than 40 million gallons per day. Yet safe yield may only be 33 million gallons per day by then.

Willis said that WSACC would take a more conservative approach, noting planned upcoming interbasin transfers to satisfy demand. With restrictions and transfers, the resulting yield should meet demand.

“This is a significant finding,” he said. “It validates the interbasin transfer decisions.”

Council was especially interested in the amount of data collected by water meter readings. Councilman Ryan Dayvault asked how the installation of new meters would impact such a study.

“We have data from every single water meter reading in a two-year period,” Willis said. “Updating meters gives us much more accurate data. It’s very beneficial for planning and accuracy of billing.”

Mayor Darrell Hinnant praised the team for its thorough job on the master plan, which encompassed nine different sections combined into 4-inch binders.

“This is the best, most refined data we’ve ever had,” he said.

City Manager Mike Legg agreed.

“It’s great for jurisdictions to have this level of data,” he said. “With the growth coming, we will have a different county than we have now.”

In other business, council:

• Unanimously approved three related motions: modifications to the city ordinance covering garbage and refuse, the approval of a solid waste contract extension for five more years and approval of a yard waste disposal contract. The vote was 6-0 as Councilman Tom Kincaid was absent.

• Held a public hearing on the use of Community Development Block Grant Program funds and unanimously approved its annual action plan. Although no one spoke at the hearing, Sherry Gordon, program administrator, noted that funds total $325,452. Of that amount, $143,414.85 will be used for infrastructure improvements in the Carver area.

Additionally, $68,947.15 will be used for Section 108 loan repayment on the business park, and $48,000 will be used to award grants to non-profit groups. Not more than two grants will be awarded per council agreement. The remaining $65,090 is for general administration/fair housing.

• Proclaimed April 27-May 4 as Soil and Water Stewardship Week.

Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.


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