Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) has received a $76,500 grant to improve drought response communication in the Triangle region. The project is one of 15 across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to collectively receive more than $1 million in the first grant cycle for the new Duke Energy Water Resources Fund, a multi-year commitment that will leave a legacy of improved water quality, quantity and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions.
“Through this project, the Triangle region will be better prepared to respond to the next drought, when it comes,” said Mike Schlegel, Water Resources Program Manager for TJCOG. “And I do mean when, not if. When drought comes, our water utilities will be better able to provide mutual aid and consistent reporting, with the goal of assuring adequate water supplies for all in times of shortage.”
Through the regional project, TJCOG will work with local governments and water utilities across the Triangle to collaboratively develop common water supply metrics, consistent water use and water supply reporting and best communication practices. A web page will be further developed to provide improved communication among water users and serve as a source of accurate, timely information on water supply status for news media and others, especially during droughts.
By 2060, the Triangle region is expected to grow by 1.6 million people and will need an additional 95 million gallons per day of drinking water beyond current supplies and will face increased water scarcity and climate variability. The TJCOG project is the next step to build upon regional efforts to ensure reliable water supplies.
“The Water Resources Fund is a testament to Duke Energy’s long history of investing in the health and vitality of our communities,” said Stick Williams, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “We look forward to our partnership with TJCOG and the impact this grant will have across the Triangle.”
The Duke Energy Foundation and community leaders will gather on April 30 in Durham to honor the inaugural Water Resource Fund grant recipients and celebrate their ongoing commitment to communities across the Carolinas.
Duke Energy anticipates two grant announcements per year over the course of five years. Applications for the next Water Resources Fund grant cycle are due May 15, 2015.