- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Charlotte Water is asking its customers to begin voluntarily conserving water as the region’s drought has intensified.

News outlets report that dry weather and above-average temperatures prompted the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group on Tuesday to place Catawba-Wateree river basin in Drought Stage 1, the second of five drought stages. The region has not seen rain in 24 days.

The utility says customers should irrigate only between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays, if they must irrigate at all.

Charlotte Water also requests that residents refrain from operating fountains or using outdoor water during the day.

National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Krentz says rainfall at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in October was 0.62 inches below normal, even with Hurricane Matthew.

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