Local News

Water Woes Flow Downstream Along Neuse River

Posted September 27, 2007

— Facing a dry forecast and a water-zapping drought, Goldsboro and Raleigh officials are formulating a back-up plan if Falls Lake continues to fall.

The dropping levels in Falls Lake, which is Raleigh's main water source, are creating concern along the Neuse River, far from the capital.

Since Falls Lake feeds into the Neuse, its water level directly impacts several cities and counties downstream, including Goldsboro.

"Of course, we're watching that (the level of Falls Lake), and we are concerned," Karen Brashear, Goldsboro's public utilities director, said. "We're hoping some normal weather patterns start back, so the lake will be replenished."

Goldsboro instituted mandatory restrictions two weeks ago. Falling water levels more dramatically affect communities that rely on rivers for their water supply, than on those that use reservoirs.

"We're under mandatory conservation, and hopefully, we'll get some rain, and we don't have to go into water shortage crisis mode," Brashear said.

Goldsboro doesn't have various levels of water restrictions, so the city's next step would be to move into crisis mode. Then, water use would be limited to necessities such as drinking and firefighting.

The city is exploring other options before taking that extreme measure, Brashear said. City officials are working with those in Raleigh on plans to possibly tap into Raleigh's Lake Benson or Lake Wheeler to help fill the Neuse if Falls Lake runs too low.

Brashear attended a meeting of the Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council drought panel in Raleigh Thursday.

"We're just looking for getting some more information," Brashear said.


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  • rmsmith Sep 28, 2007

    To me it would appear all the cities using water from Falls Lake should have automatic & mutual rules in place.
    - Water level falls 3 feet, stage A goes into effect.
    - Water level falls 4 feet, stage B goes into effect.
    - Water level falls 5 feet, stage C goes into effect.
    No rain in sight and why are people still allowed to water lawns, etc is ridicolous !!!!

  • coldstone66 Sep 27, 2007


  • oldrebel Sep 27, 2007

    One of the aspects I have yet to see addressed in the media is the different forms of water rate structures.The four most commmon are uniform,increasing block, decreasing block, and
    seasonal uniform.A uniform rate exists
    when the cost of water does not
    change as the customer uses more
    water. An increasing block exists when
    the cost of water increases with greater
    water consumption. This structure often underpins a water conservation strategy. Decreasing blocks provide for reduced water rates with greater consumption, and often support economic development strategies. Note that most residential users are not on the "decreasing block" where users are charged less money for each gallon because they use much more of it. So until all users are charged the same amount per gallon, regardless of the total amount used, all this talk of conservation is disingenuous at best.

  • getrealpeople Sep 27, 2007

    Letting some water out (not draining)of Lake Benson etc was in paper so they can hold more in Falls Lake. This way downstream customers get water and maintains aquatic life and makes Falls lake water last longer. They just can't dam the river or stop letting water out of Falls lake Dam. State guidelines on reuse water need to change. It's crazy to use drinking water for watering yards, golf courses, and washing streets as we do now.

  • joco cruiser Sep 27, 2007

    Just remember, one man's waste is a downstream mans water.

    Hope people will give more consideration to water restrictions before they really become a problem.

  • independent-opinion Sep 27, 2007

    So, we drain Benson and Wheeler into the Neuse to let it move downstream to Goldsboro. Unless they dam up the river to trap that water downstream, or suck the river dry at that point, it ends up in Pamlico sound, useless. Good plan!

  • taylor boy Sep 27, 2007

    Just drinking and firefighting? What about a bath?