Local News

Orange County Faces Water Shortage

Posted November 7, 2001

— Lakes across the area are drying up and there is not a drop of rain in sight. If it does not rain soon, tighter restrictions could leave homeowners and their lawns high and dry.

When Clay Parker is getting his fields ready to plant wheat, it is usually a little dusty, but this year if it does not rain soon, his profits will suffer.

"It's the time of year when we're planting wheat behind soybeans and we really need some rain on it to get it to come on up and germinate," he says.

It has not rained 22 out of the last 23 days and there is not a drop in the forecast. Right now, Lake Orange is a little below 60 percent of its full capacity, which means Orange County is at water restriction level three.

"There's a lot of restrictions, watering of lawns three days a week for about three hours each day," says Kenny Keel, engineer for the town of Hillsborough. "We ask that people limit car washing."

Restaurants are also feeling the crunch of restrictions.

"We have the water glasses on the table and when we come up to the table, we have a pitcher of water and offer it to the customer as opposed to what we used to do -- automatically pour," says restaurant manager Don Chappelle.

Officials say they will probably move to restriction level four next week, which means no car washing or lawn watering.

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