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Data Supports Call for Stricter Water Rules

Posted October 9, 2007

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— City residents are consuming 35 percent more water on days when lawn watering is allowed than on other days, officials said Tuesday.

The data backs up Mayor Charles Meeker's suggestion that the city ban outdoor residential water use to conserve water, City Manager Russell Allen said Tuesday.

Meeker on Monday said the city might need to adopt "Stage 1.5" restrictions that would limit residential water consumption without adversely affecting businesses like car washes and power-washing services.

Stage 1 water restrictions limit homeowners to specified hours of using sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems on one day a week. Since the city implemented the restrictions on Aug. 28, water demand has dropped 18 percent.

But the ongoing drought has left Falls Lake, the city's primary reservoir, more than 7½ feet below normal levels. The lake is less than 2 feet above its all-time low level, reached in November 1993.

A report from the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Falls Lake, said the city pumps more than 67 million gallons of water from the lake on Tuesdays and Wednesdays – the two days when outdoor watering is allowed – compared with about 49 million gallons a day on other days of the week.

Allen said the city could prolong the available water supply at Falls Lake by eliminating outdoor watering. Without any rain in the coming months, the lake would run dry on Jan. 24, officials said.

The City Council could address tighter restrictions at its meeting next week.

27 Comments

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  • getrealpeople Oct 10, 2007

    They are not going to dredge Falls Lake. Too many permits!
    Where you gonna put the dirt? Crazy. Desalination...lol too expensive. plus you would have to pump the water here and build a new treatment plant. Just stop watering your yards!! if not they will be at stage 1.5 and cut your water off! Maybe you will stop watering then?

  • romex Oct 10, 2007

    charge oops

  • romex Oct 10, 2007

    let people dig wells insted of city water but then the city cant carge them.

  • PeaceOut2017 Oct 10, 2007

    "The morning news reported that Cary's new aquatic center would be filling their 3 pools today."

    Cary's not on the Raleigh water system

  • nchunter Oct 10, 2007

    There is a company doing lawn and landscape watering.

  • WFrules Oct 10, 2007

    Back when we had the last drought, was it 2002? I remember when the fire dept was going around cleaning the lines and letting water out of the hydrants... I actually turned them in, but the City did not seem to care... I hope they don't do that again!

  • WFrules Oct 10, 2007

    bseymour: How do you know they're not going to use well water?

  • bseymour Oct 10, 2007

    The morning news reported that Cary's new aquatic center would be filling their 3 pools today. This appears to be excessive and unnecessary when we are counting the days of water that we have left.

  • WFrules Oct 10, 2007

    By the way, before anyone starts to yell at me, I conserve water, BUT I also believe the City of Raleigh has really messed up and did not plan for the growth. So Meeker and the other folks who make decisions need to think on how to resolve this... There are other ways to solve this instead of banning all outdoor watering. I mean you could reduce the watering times, especially for automated systems... And for you Marc3939 replacing mature trees and shrubs is not easy...

  • WFrules Oct 10, 2007

    MSN93: Way to go! I installed soaker hoses under the mulch during the spring of '07 just in case it went to this. I'll water still no matter what with soaker hoses. Consumes much less water! Also, I can't afford to redo the landscape if things start to die. Here or there yes, but not all at once. Well's cost anywhere from $6000-$8000, then you have to get the lines installed. That's a lot... I really don't think may people out here care about their yard in the first place, with exception of a few...

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