UPSTATE S.C. (WSPA) – Due to a lack of rainfall and hot temperatures in our area a drought advisory has been issued for the Upstate. Officials say they are monitoring the situation but they want to remind people to be aware of how much water they are using.

Reports show over the past two weeks there has only been 10% of normal precipitation in some parts of the Upstate.

“Lake Hartwell’s down,” Executive Director of Powdersville Water Dyke Spencer said. “That is the main reservoir that is down a little bit right now.”

There are five stages of a drought.

Currently, the Upstate is under level one and level two, meaning conditions are abnormally dry in some areas and other areas are experiencing a moderate drought.

Officials say part of our region that gets their water from Lake Hartwell could see a greater struggle and that water levels are dropping faster in Lake Hartwell than in Lake Keowee.

“Just think about driving all the way around Lake Hartwell, it is 1,100 miles,” Spencer said. “That is how big that lake is. It is huge. There is a lot of water in Lake Hartwell. We are very fortunate in the Upstate to have Keowee, Hartwell, these large reservoirs. We are very fortunate.”

Officials tell us a drought advisory this time of year is less of an issue, as temperatures are dropping outside and we’re not in the middle of Summer.

Spencer says it has been several years since a drought has hit hard here in the Upstate, but preparation for one has already taken place.

“This company has built a lot of large infrastructure to handle high flow situations, so we are very well prepared for the next drought,” Spencer said. “I’m not wishing for the next drought but we have built for it.”

Spencer says residents’ bills should not be affected by the drought advisory now, but should we get into a severe drought you could see higher charges on your account for excessive water use.

“Your bill could be impacted by how much you use,” Spencer said. “We would have mandatory restrictions then and if you go beyond those restrictions you are going to pay penalties for it.”

When you receive your bill in the mail or go to pay it online you may notice an advisory to limit excessive water use. Officials say at this time it is just precautionary.