Local News

Water usage at Kerr Lake causes debate

Posted April 23, 2015
Updated April 24, 2015

Kerr Lake seeing lower water levels

— Officials with the Kerr Lake Regional Water System say they want to pull more water from Kerr Lake.

The system partners, including Henderson, Oxford and Warren County, would sell the water to outlying areas.

Officials petitioned to withdraw the additional water in the next few years, about 14.2 million gallons, to serve a growing customer base.

"To make sure we have the demand for more water, we can supply those needs well into the future," said Henderson Assistant City Manager Frank Fraizer.

Citizens from across the area who do not like the idea of water resources being sold to outlying customers spoke out Thursday evening.

"We feel that all the people who have been making these decisions have been making them without all of the information," said Deborah Ferruccio, with Preserve Our North Carolina Lakes.

According to state officials, a final decision is expected in July.


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  • Charles Boyer Apr 24, 2015
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    It is a little different in that Kerr Lake is a control reservoir for the rest of the Roanoke River system that feeds into Gaston Lake and the river downstream. The levels on Kerr vary greatly, often from day to day depending on the needs of Gaston, which is kept at or very near full pool, and the river downstream that supports the fish population such as striped bass that migrate upstream from the Albermarle Sounds to spawn. Additionally, electricity is generated at Kerr Dam, and at Roanoke Rapids downstream. So, all in all, you have many competing interests for water on the Roanoke System and selling water from Kerr Lake is not as simple as overcoming federal and two states worth of bureaucracy.

  • Thomas White Apr 24, 2015
    user avatar

    Is this any different then communities near Jordan Lake selling their allotments to Wake / Durham counties so that communities can be built. Eventually if the communities, that have reserve water capacity, grow the people who have been purchasing water will not go without and then real problems exist. Larger communities with real financial power will get the legislature(s) to grant them the water they have been receiving.