Project History

Jordan Lake

jordanlake.jpg (53396 bytes)The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Wilmington District) operates the B. Everett Jordan Lake as a multi-purpose flood control and water resources project.  It is designed for flood control, water supply, recreation, fish and wildlife management, and low flow augmentation for points below the dam.  The dam and lake are located in Chatham County on the Haw River, just downstream of its confluence with New Hope Creek.   Haw River is a major tributary of the Cape Fear River.

Construction began in 1967, and the reservoir was full by 1982. The average inflow rate to the lake is 1,621 cubic feet per second (cfs) based on stream flow measurements made on the river between 1929 and 1989. 

The lake covers 14,300 acres and provides about 140,400 acre-feet of useable storage at normal pool.  Of this quantity, about 45,800 acre-feet is designated for water supply.  This is designed to provide a safe yield of about 100 million gallons per day (mgd), or 155 cfs.

Water Supply Allocations at Jordan Lake

The State of North Carolina has authority to assign the entire available water supply storage volume in Jordan Lake.  This storage is assigned to any local government that needs water supply.  The main criteria for allocations are future water needs and the availability of alternative water supplies.  The Environmental Management Commission is required to coordinate any allocation request with certifications of any interbasin transfers that may be required for a proposed allocation change.  More information about Interbasin Transfer Certificates can be found at   Potential IBTs within the State are at

Of the 100 mgd that is potentially available from Jordan Lake, 22 mgd has  been allocated for immediate uses and an additional 13 mgd for future uses.  Note that the allocations are actually a percentage of the total water supply pool in Jordan Lake - not a specific guaranteed rate of withdrawal. 

The allocation procedure for Jordan Lake is explained more fully at, which is the March 1997 EMC report, "Jordan Lake Water Supply Storage Allocation Recommendations." 

The Administrative Rule for Jordan Lake Water Supply Allocations can be found in the NC Adminstrative Code Section T15A:02G.0400 - Regulation of Surface Water Transfers.   See and NC Administrative Code Section T15A:02G.0500 - Allocation of Jordan Lake Water Supply Storage.  See

Applicant Existing Jordan Water Supply Allocations (mgd)

Level I

Level II

Chatham County 4.0 2.0
Apex and Cary 16.0 0.0
OWASA 0.0 10.0
Holly Springs 2.0 0.0
Orange County 0.0 1.0
Totals 22.0 13.0

wpe2.jpg (42518 bytes)Level I Allocations are for withdrawal from Jordan Lake that will occur over a 20 year period and which will commence within five years of the time that the allocation is granted. 

Level II allocations are for withdrawals that are scheduled to occur after five years, but before 30 years.

In 1996, the Towns of Apex, Cary, Morrisville and Wake County requested increased allocations to meet future potable water demands.  The DWR subsequently recommended a total combined allocation of 25 mgd for these entities.  This represents an increase of 9 mgd above their current 16 mgd Level I allocation.

Due to the nature of their water and sewage treatment systems, some of the water that would be withdrawn from the Cape Fear River Basin would ultimately be returned to the Neuse River Basin.  Such diversions of water are defined as an Interbasin Transfer (IBT).  Each IBT requires a certificate from the Environmental Management Commission (EMC).  Cary and Apex currently have an IBT certificate for 16 mgd (maximum day flow).  The proposed increased withdrawals are expected to increase the IBT to 20.2 mgd (maximum day flow) for 2000 and 18.8 mgd for 2015.  DWR has denied a request from Cary to issue separate IBT certificates for Cary/Apex, Morrisville and Wake County.  Therefore, the IBT certificate for the new allocations will include the transfers that are associated with all water supplied by the Cary/ Apex Water Treatment Plant.

Although much of the storage in Jordan Lake is still unallocated, the State is responsible for proper stewardship of this resource for future water demands.  For this reason, requests for water allocations and IBTs receive very careful scrutiny.

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In Association With Our Funding Partners .. 

Cape Fear River Assembly

The Towns of Apex, Cary and Morrisville

Wake County.

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Last updated: May 13, 1999.