RALEIGH, N.C. — The cities of Raleigh and Durham joined other North Carolina cities Wednesday by imposing mandatory water restrictions.
Raleigh officials said the city's drinking source, Falls Lake, had fallen to 248.59 feet, the lowest level recorded during the last week of June, said officials, who have monitored the lake's level for 15 years.
Officials said since voluntary conservation measures were enacted June 10, water use has been at an all-time high.
Wednesday, the Raleigh City Council approved
mandatory water restrictions
that take effect immediately.
Residents caught violating the restrictions face fines of $500 per day. Citations will be not be issued until 8 a.m. July 1.
The mandatory measures for Raleigh include:
Raleigh residents also are asked not to ignite fireworks, which are a concern with the approaching July 4th holiday.
Raleigh officials said the situation is bad, but there is not any need to panic.
"Of course, it is going to rain again and the drought would end," Raleigh mayor Charles Meeker said.
In Durham, officials have also issued
mandatory water conservation measures
At the current consumption rate, city officials said Durham would run out of water in about three months.
Lake Michie is 10.5 feet below full and the Little River reservoir is about nine feet below full level.
According to the city of Durham, no person shall:
One business in Durham claims it is prepared for the city's mandatory restrictions. The Durham Ritz Touchless Car Wash has a new wash system that only uses 30 gallons of water per car, which falls within the city's restrictions.
However, some places that do not need to worry about water restrictions are feeling the hit.
A nursery in Apex has about 50,000 plants to water and, at best, a few weeks of water left because their irrigation pond is running dry. Officials said if they do not get a lot of rain soon, the nursery will have to truck the plants somewhere to be watered.
Hillsborough and the Orange-Alamance water systems already have mandatory water restrictions in place.
Orange County has requested voluntary conservation from its customers.