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State to hold public hearings on Union Co. water transfer request


State officials are seeking public input on a proposed water transfer certificate that Union County Public Works is requesting to meet projected future water demands.  

The public utility is seeking a water transfer certificate to move up to 23 million gallons of water a day from the Yadkin River basin to the Rocky River basin. The amount is calculated on an average day of the maximum month basis, based on state regulations. The amount of water the utility is requesting to transfer is based upon 2050 water demand projections to meet anticipated growth in Union County.

The Union County Public Works system provides drinking water to residents in Union County, except for Monroe, and serves customers in the Catawba River basin and the Rocky River basin. Most of the water supplied by Union County comes from the Catawba River through the Catawba River Water Treatment Plant in Lancaster County, S.C.

Union County has a grandfathered transfer capacity of five million gallons of water a day from the Catawba River basin to the Rocky River basin. The proposed request will avoid the need for an increase in the amount transferred from the Catawba River basin. If approved, the transfer will require the construction of a new water intake on Lake Tillery in the Yadkin River basin near the location of the existing intake for Norwood.

The N.C. Environmental Management Commission administers the interbasin transfer law. On behalf of the commission, officials with the state environmental agency will receive comments on the draft determination at three hearings to be held:

  • Aug. 23 at the Town of Norwood Community Building, 247 West Turner St., Norwood, N.C. 28128
  • Aug. 24 at the Anson County Hampton B. Allen Library, 120 South Greene St., Wadesboro, N.C. 28170
  • Sept. 1 at the Union County Government Center, Room 118, 500 North Main St., Monroe, N.C. 28112 

At all three hearings speaker registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the hearing will begin at 6 p.m. If possible, speakers are asked to provide a written copy of their oral comments. Based on the number of people who wish to speak, the length of oral comments may be limited.

Written comments may also be submitted by mail to: Division of Water Resources, Attn: Kim Nimmer, 1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1611. Comments may also be submitted by email to All comments must be postmarked or emailed by Oct. 3.

The commission will consider all public comments received in making its final determination on whether to issue a certificate for the water transfer. A final determination is expected in early 2017.

The draft interbasin transfer certificate is available online at The document may also be viewed at the hearings or during normal business hours at the N.C. Division of Water Resources Central Office, 512 North Salisbury St., Room 1117H, Raleigh.

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