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Raintree21

Duke Power considers water fee

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How can a company own a river? I could see owning a lake but a river?

Duke Power considers water fee

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Power might start charging a fee for cities and towns that draw water from the Catawba River.

Right now, there is no charge for the water. But the energy company, which is preparing to renew its license to control the Catawba, is considering a fee to make up for years of drought.

"We would not look at this charge as a profit-making opportunity for the company, but as a way to put back into the system for additional conservation measures,

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All the water inlets are in the lakes, so I assume that's how they could do it, though I'm still surprised that it would be legal in that they don't own the actual water.......I guess they would really be charging a lease on the water intakes?????

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but they are suggesting a fee to fund conservation measures, which helps all water users. How is this bad? How would the government do that any better?

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I'm not saying it's bad since they're goal is to decrease the environmental impact of multiple cities sucking water out of the river and to prevent future droughts. But thing is, fees won't decrease the water usage. There are really no other water sources in the area for cities to use besides the Duke System (Catawba, Norman, Wylie, Mountain Island, etc.) so they have to use "Duke's" water. Our populations increase every day so logically water demand will increase also and there is no alternative source.

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Duke Power owns the license from the Federal Energey Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate the hydroelectric facilities on the Catawba-Wateree system. Their realm of control reaches from Lake James to below Lake Wateree in South Carolina. The Catawba River along the whole chain is within their domain.

FERC allows license holders to charge fees to offset the impact withdrawals could have on the electric production ability of Duke. While it may not seem fair, it is completely legal under federal law.

The knee-jerk reaction from the Charlotte councilman is laughable. I'm sure the cities, towns, and counties along the Catawba system would love to operate hydroelectric plants.

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but they are suggesting a fee to fund conservation measures, which helps all water users.  How is this bad? How would the government do that any better?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I guess I won't mention that Duke has profiteered greatly through its subsidary Cresent Properties which has developed most of the shoreline surrounding the lakes which causes most of the pollution problems. Duke is the only utility that has done this to the level that we see on Lake Norman.

It isn't a question on the amount of water as there is plenty in this area.

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It isn't a question on the amount of water as there is plenty in this area.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I wonder how this fits into their plan to release more water into the Catawba in an attempt to bring it closer to pre-dam/lake levels for environmental improvement and to increase the water sports aspect of the river. There was an article about 2 months ago about their proposed increase.

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N.C. sets sights on riverfront land

More land is being bought by the state along the Catawba River to make into parks, swimming areas (480-acre addition to Lake Norman State Park), and wildlife areas. Acquisition of the 10,000 acres tied to Duke's hydro license for the Catawba. The North Carolina's environmental and wildlife agencies hope to protect the land as Duke Power completes negotiations over terms of its renewed hydroelectric license for the Catawba.

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