Local News

Raleigh residents: Water at will

Posted May 1, 2012
Updated May 2, 2012

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— RALEIGH – Raleigh home and business owners can water their lawns every day if they want after the City Council voted Tuesday to lift long-standing limits on water use.

Drought Map N.C. drought conditions timelapse

The City of Raleigh put "permanent conservation measures" in place in 2007 when much of the state faced drought conditions.

Ed Buchan, an environmental coordinator for the city, said that the restrictions meant less revenue for the city. Because Raleigh's two water reservoirs, Falls Lake and Lake Benson, are above what is considered full, selling more water will help boost revenue.

"It's a double-edged sword, Catch 22, whatever cliché you want to use," Buchan said. "We are an enterprise fund, and we have to sell water to collect revenue from fees to make our budget goals."

Customers, including residents of Raleigh, Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon were asked to run sprinklers only twice per week – once on a weekday and once on weekends – based on their street address. Violators of the limit faced fines and serial violators could see their service cut off.

Raleigh water customers also had to deal with rate increases. Because of conservation efforts, the city tried to raise revenue to meet operating expenses.

This July, customers will see a 15 percent increase in what they pay for sewer use.

60 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dwntwnboy May 8, 2012

    Keep the restrictions in place- it's not even summer yet and we are down for the year in rainfall already. My yard and plants have learned to survive with the rationed watering I started giving them at the start of the last drought- why change it now? That which is alive now, will be alive when the dry times hit again.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 3, 2012

    @save it, have you ever looked to see how much water you consume?

    http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/sc1.html

    E.g. 1/3 pound hamburger takes 4,000-18,000 gallons of water

  • bluegrass May 3, 2012

    Having gotten the rates where they want them they now encourage use. Seems a little funny to me.

  • paul2345 May 3, 2012

    I suspect the department is simply trying to jack up the billable gallons now. True conservatives would get rid of their lawns of non-native plantings, find ground cover that makes more sense (and requires less care and feeding) -- protecting that limited watershed resource we call Falls Lake for important stuff like, you know, drinking -- as this population balloons all out of sustainable proportions. Then again, conservatives no longer understand the root of the word. Water at will? That should have read Waste at Will.

  • EverythingTicksMeOff May 2, 2012

    Probably the right move, but just promise us you will slap those restrictions back on at the first sign of drought and shortage. Raleigh is growing and the water supply isn't.

  • stupidbrainchild May 2, 2012

    "Apparently you are not aware of how much water is on the planet and how many gallons that 1 percent constitutes. 1 percent is 3,460,490,000,000,000,000 gallons. Let's divide that by the number of people on the planet 6,970,442,300. That's 496,541,997 gallons all to yourself. Don't drink it all at once and God forbid don't give any to grass."

    Are you serious? Throwing numbers out there doesn't mean we should waste it. What do the lakes and reservoirs look like in the summer? Does it look like there is plenty to waste then? The best way to conserve our water supplies is to conserve our use before we are in a sever drought. What really irritates me is watching sprinklers water grass while it is raining.

  • WooHoo2You May 2, 2012

    Apparently you are not aware of how much water is on the planet and how many gallons that 1 percent constitutes. 1 percent is 3,460,490,000,000,000,000 gallons. Let's divide that by the number of people on the planet 6,970,442,300. That's 496,541,997 gallons all to yourself. Don't drink it all at once and God forbid don't give any to grass.-Save It

    That’s like saying there is 10,000,000 dollars in loose change down sewer drains all you have to do is grab them all and you can be rich…

  • autismawareness May 2, 2012

    nice to know i wont have to break the law now.

  • WooHoo2You May 2, 2012

    How many droughts have we had that forced us to conserve water? I can think of one, maybe two in the 33 years I've been in Raleigh. However over dramatic, whack-nut, anxiety over nothing is entertaining. Keep it up!-Save It

    Just because we have never run out of water to serve our population does not mean conserving is / was not necessary. Is it possible that if no measures were taken we could have had major issues? Just because your bank balance is not at zero does not mean you don’t have to watch your money...

  • Save It May 2, 2012

    "Thanks for the greenlight to waste more of the less than 1% of all the the water on the planet that's suitable for human and animal consumption!"

    Apparently you are not aware of how much water is on the planet and how many gallons that 1 percent constitutes. 1 percent is 3,460,490,000,000,000,000 gallons. Let's divide that by the number of people on the planet 6,970,442,300. That's 496,541,997 gallons all to yourself. Don't drink it all at once and God forbid don't give any to grass.

More...