MONROE — Union County Government has achieved a goal to provide a long-term, sustainable water supply for residents, according to a report from Union County Government. In July 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a plan to allow Duke Energy to draw water from Lake Tillery to serve residents in the Yadkin River Basin as part of the Yadkin Regional Water Supply Project.

The FERC approved the request after ensuring it was consistent with the operating requirements in Duke Energy’s license to maintain safe and healthy lake levels.

“The approval of this permit brings Union County one step closer to having a much-needed, additional water source for our residents,” said Mark Watson, Union County manager, in a statement. “We are thankful for the diligence and hard work by our partners and stakeholders to ensure this project’s success.”

The Yadkin Regional Water Supply Project is a collaborative effort between Union County and the Town of Norwood (Stanly County) that addresses how to meet growing demand for safe, quality water as Union County’s population grows. The project will provide an additional drinking water source to Union County and new infrastructure for the Town of Norwood, such as a new water intake and pump station on Lake Tillery.

The project also includes approximately 28 miles of pipeline from the intake to a new water treatment plant in Union County and approximately 11 miles of pipeline connecting the treatment plant to the existing Union County water distribution system.

Duke Energy, Union County and the Town of Norwood are currently developing an easement and withdrawal agreement, according to the report. Once signed, Duke Energy can issue approval to start construction. The project is expected to take about 30 months to complete.