Water is the lifeblood of modern society. Our lakes and rivers supply our water and are a key, yet often overlooked, contributor to our local economy and quality of life. Water feeds us, cleans us, entertains us (recreation) and is integral to the production of energy and economic vitality in the Region. Our water comes from various lakes, rivers, and streams in our area, including Lake Norman or Mountain Island Lake, which are fed by the Catawba River within the Catawba-Wateree River Basin. In 2006 nearly 420 million gallons were withdrawn from the Catawba-Wateree River Basin by Charlotte Water to support our community’s water and energy needs.
The Catawba-Wateree River Basin includes the Catawba-Wateree River which flows approximately 320 miles from its headwaters in the North Carolina mountains until it merges with the Congaree River just upstream of Lake Marion. The basin includes approximately 5,000 miles of waterways and it includes portions of 24 counties in two states (North Carolina and South Carolina). The basin includes eleven lakes which were constructed by Duke Energy in the twentieth century to produce electricity. It also includes one National Wilderness Area (Linville Gorge), a National Park (Congaree National Park), the Catawba Indian Reservation, and many state and local parks.
The Region’s drinking water and wastewater systems are managed by a variety of Public Utilities across the basin. For example, Charlotte’s water is managed by Charlotte Water, our local public utility.