Soybean farm in North Carolina. Soybeans are grown in Alexander County, among others, which borders the Catawba River.

Agricultural Runoff

Agriculture is one of the leading industries in North Carolina, contributing $78 million to the state’s economy and employing 16% of the state’s workforce. The piedmont and foothills regions of NC are home to livestock, nurseries, field crops, and even aquaculture. The presence of these farms inevitably results in the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and…

3/2/2007 Silt runoff caused by new construction in the Westport area. The large area of undeveloped of red dirt is a new 250 acre subdivision called Burton's Creek.   Lake Norman is at the top of the photo. LAYNE BAILEY - lbailey@charlotteobserver.com

Sedimentation

Sediment is comprised of particles from soil and other sources that accumulate in rainwater as it drains off of land into streams and bodies of water. As rainwater drains into streams and bodies of water, it gathers particles from soil and other sources into sediment, which is suspended in the water until settles in the…

Ecology of the Catawba River

The Catawba River Basin is an important habitat for many aquatic and terrestrial species in North and South Carolina. As the river flows toward the Atlantic Ocean, it is fed by many tributaries and, as discussed above, concentrates in several lakes and reservoirs because of the construction of dams. These features make for a diverse…

Catawba Water Quality

The Catawba River was named the most endangered river in the United States in 2008, and the situation has not improved since then. Current trends of development are only exacerbating the problem. 170 millions of gallons of water were pumped from the Catawba River to other river basins every day and the number is estimated to…

Strawberry Breeder, Assistant Professor
Department of Horticultural Science Jeremy Pattison in a strawberry field at the Piedmont Research Station. Photo by Marc Hall

Why Poor N.C Water Policy May Be Hurting More Than Just the Catawba

  Over the last few decades, North Carolina water policy regarding regulation and management of its various watersheds, has remained fairly unchanged. Yet, recently new energy and water demands resulting from rapidly increasing populations around urbanizing areas has forced N.C. policy makers and state legislatures to consider changes to the master water management plan for…

Early History of the Catawba River

The Catawba River was named after the tribe that first settled its banks, the Catawba Indian Nation. The Catawba, meaning “people in the fork of the river,” have lived in the valley for more than 10,000 years. The Catawba Tribe was already a relatively advanced civilization when early explorers discovered the site. The group depended on the fish…

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Improving Catawba Water Management Increases Charlotte Utility Water Shelf Life

Recently, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area’s growth rate has exponentially increased. This is a subject that has received a substantial amount of focus due to the environmental stressing factors that rapid human expansion brings, but lately the main topic of focus concerning this unyielding growth rate has been how to restructure and reshape Charlotte water management. Until…

Catawba-Wateree River Basin Water Supply Master Plan – a summary

The Catawba River flows for two hundred and twenty miles between North and South Carolina and provides water, energy, and supports industries like agriculture for two million people. As the population around the Catawba-Wateree basin exploded, the local governments, utility companies, and Duke Energy became concern about the longevity of this critical source of water….

Catawba River Stakeholders

On Nov. 1st 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a new 40-year operating licensing to Duke Energy to continue its Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project, which involves the operation of 13 hydroelectric stations and 11 associated reservoirs in both North Carolina and South Carolina. The licensing is crucial because it will continue to support and sustain…