Local News

Water Demand Down in Raleigh; Drought Continues

Posted September 26, 2007
Updated September 27, 2007

— Water demand is down in Raleigh, but the ongoing lack of rain continues to cause worry, the city said Wednesday.

Stage 1 mandatory water restrictions, which went into effect Aug. 28, have resulted in a 16 percent reduction in daily use.

Current water usage is about 55 million gallons per day, down 3.6 percent from last week’s claculation of the 30-day average. The Triangle’s year-to-date rainfall is still nearly 7 inches below normal.

The National Weather Service is forecasting no significant rainfall through the coming week.

So far, 235 citations, which each carry a $200 penalty, have been issued under the first 28 days of the water restrictions.

The restrictions apply to all Raleigh water customers, including those in Garner, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon.

Stage 1 restrictions include:

  • Using sprinkler systems only between midnight and 10 a.m. on Tuesdays (odd-number addresses) or Wednesdays (even-number addresses).
  • Using hoses with sprinklers only from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays (odd-number addresses) or Wednesdays (even-number addresses).
  • Hand-held watering on the same times and days as sprinklers, as well as during those hours on Saturdays (odd-number addresses) or Sundays (even-number addresses).
  • Washing cars only on weekends, although commercial car washes can operate seven days a week.
  • Power-washing homes, sidewalks or driveways only on weekends, although commercial services can operate as normal.

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  • doubletrouble Sep 27, 2007

    So...what is Wake doing with all it's incoming tax dollars? It has the highest tax rate in the state. All I ever see there is road construction, when I'm there. Thank goodness I don't live there...Elbow room my friend, elbow room.(comes equipped with either county water, or well water--or BOTH)

  • Lasata Sep 27, 2007

    how about no one take a shower that'll save alot of water.... just kidding:)

  • DayumKrazy1 Sep 27, 2007

    I see plenty of people taking advantage of what we can use on the weekend as if they don't even care. Whats gonna happen when it runs out, point is as long as they know its there this will continue because some feel having green grass, clean house/driveway, and car are more important than conserving when they know full well this is a serious matter. Being too dependant on one particular source doesn't help either when land keeps getting developed and they keep tapping into our only provider of water...don't understand why this wasn't an issue many years ago with how wake county has grown.

  • baracus Sep 27, 2007

    bobbyj I don't see how you can say lawn watering is not an issue. Watering the ~5000sqft of grass on my 1/4 acre lot with 1" of water just one time uses as much water as everything else in my household does in a month.

  • Iron Man Sep 27, 2007

    I mentioned this a month or so back, but have some information to show how well it has worked. I take Navy showers once a day. A Navy shower is on in which you rinse down, soap down and rinse off. Our hot water bill came down $5 for the month of August which is 20% less than the previous month. Not only have I reduced the gas bill, but water consumtion is probably down 120 to 150 gallons per month. That times 300,000 people is 40,500,000 gallons that could be saved if you take one shower, double that and it is 81,000,000 gallons per month.

  • Localhero Sep 27, 2007

    It is amazing to me that Durham is not restricting use like Raleigh and Chatham county are. As per WRAL news last night, Durham isn't worried because if they exhaust their supply, they'll just tap into Jordan Lake which is Northeast Chatham's supply of water. We are currently on Stage 3 restrictions yet Durham just rolls along with no worry. Completely ridiculous.

  • jbtilley Sep 27, 2007

    It's amazing to me that usage went down 16% just from enacting the stage 1 restrictions. I can't believe that many people were watering their lawns before. Seems pretty irresponsible considering the drought we're suffering through.

  • charlesboyer Sep 27, 2007

    "How about our fair leaders stop reacting to the current situation and start planning for a long term solution?" -- amused1.

    Good question. IMO, what's happening is that our leaders are avoiding making any hard decisions and leaving the problem to the next person who takes their office.

    The region needs more water if it is to sustain its growth. That much is simple. Conservation will help in the short term, but a finite resource can only support so many people before it is overwhelmed.

    Getting new sources of water takes time, money and political courage. Instead of Raleigh trying to get more water and being the Auquatic Overlords, the region needs to unite and solve the problem together. How disparate fiefdoms like Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Cary can come together and solve a regional problem is anyone's guess, especially since they would be happy to grow at the other's expense.

  • pmlance Sep 27, 2007

    All this moralizing about watering lawns or washing cars is off point. Just because you don't care about it doesn't mean others don't. We will have a very hard time being an attractive area for top-drawer workers if we are simply known as "the land of bad yards". At the same time, we may need to make adjustments (like moving away from such heavy reliance on tall fescue grass, which is very vulnerable to drought).

    A sensible water pricing scheme would not mean those watering their lawn are costing everyone. The best idea would be to have an increasing marginal price for each household.

    Finally, while I disagree with bobbyj in one sense (I've been 15 years, and the last 3 or 4 have been unusual on balance), this area is prone to spells like this. It does not matter if you eliminate all lawn watering forever: our pop growth will make us increasingly vulnerable to these spells. What we need is more reservoirs as insurance. End of story.

  • bobbyj Sep 27, 2007

    I guess I don't understand the problem. Watering the lawn is not the problem saving water inside the house is the answer. Low flow toilets, shorter showers, water runoff collection. I save the AC condensate and water my tomatoes and pumpkin plants. Also my lawn is green with only 1" of water per week. Got a little brown three weeks ago but came back after last weeks rain. The media hs blown this up, been here 3 years and this has happen 2 years this is the norm not the exception.