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Chapel Hill to Supply Durham With Water

Posted December 20, 2007

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— The Orange Water and Sewer Authority agreed Thursday to provide Durham with water for 30 days.

OWASA will provide about 1.5 million gallons of drinking water per day to Durham, which has less than six weeks of quality water left in its two main reservoirs, Lake Michie and the Little River Reservoir.

“The water utilities and the communities they serve can best cope with this exceptionally severe drought by working together and helping each other as we have in the past,” OWASA Executive Director Ed Kerwin said in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity to reciprocate the very timely help that the Durham community has given us many times.”

OWASA, which serves Chapel Hill and Carrboro, has about 214 days of drinking water available, Kerwin said. Providing 45 million gallons to Durham over the next month would reduce OWASA’s supply by 3 percent, or about six days of water, he said.

Durham also is working to tap 600 million gallons in an abandoned quarry to extend its water supply for about a month. The city also plans to double its purchase of water from Cary, to about 3.6 million gallons a day, beginning next month.

Kerwin said Durham has a track record of sharing water with Chapel Hill and Carrboro that dates to the 1960s.

11 Comments

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  • Spooner Dec 21, 2007

    I am surprised Chapel Hill is doing anything good for Durham? Seems like they have enough problems of their own and may need that water one day.

  • pack-man Dec 21, 2007

    i'm waiting to hear news about Durham planning a large scale reservoir for future use. still waiting..

  • sjb2k1 Dec 21, 2007

    talkabout, refer to my comment above (that was to prozacdispenser, but it looks like GOLO censors got to that post). Not all of us in Durham are idiots who waste water. But that's cool, I'll keep your thoughts in mind if you ever need help for anything...

  • givemeabreak Dec 21, 2007

    As a Chapel Hill resident, I do not mind assisting Durham with water, just a timely question after I have been paying the ridiculus rates for my water & sewer, do we get some rebates on that?

  • Waterrox Dec 21, 2007

    Why are people so quick to denounce Durham and not help them out? Durham has been conserving water (probably not as long as they should have) and have cut their usage 40% or so.

    Plus, Durham's water supply comes from Lake Michie and the Little River Reservoir, which both have extremely small watersheds, so even if it does rain, they don't get much water. Plus, Lake Michie is fed by the Flat River which as of the drought conference yesterday is now a zero flow stream. That is, it has no water running in it!

    Now, Cary and OWASA, etc. use Jordan Lake which is at 100% capacity for drinking water. Jordan Lake has a much larger watershed extending back into Guilford County. If they have the water and their willing to help (or sell), then why shouldn't the sister municipalities help out?

    Quit being so cynical. It's Christmas time for Pete's Sake!

  • DurhamDude Dec 21, 2007

    Personally, I think all the cities and towns in the triangle area have been wasting water too long. Everyone in the area needs to run out of water and learn a lesson the hard way. I'm preparing for when we run out of water.

  • talkabout Dec 21, 2007

    Durham should suffer the consenquences of thier actions! Cary - DO NOT GIVE THEM WATER! I conserve water, as do my other fellow Cary neighbors....why should WE go w/o becuase Durham was STUPID?? No way man...your problems are your OWN! Durham needs to dry up and go AWAY!

  • sjb2k1 Dec 21, 2007

    Take a few more Prozac, dude, and chill out. Not everybody from Durham is a water-wasting idiot. My household had been voluntarily conserving long before things got out of hand. It makes me upset that they didn't impose severe water restrictions sooner. I can't believe the supply has gotten down so low. Six weeks?!?!

  • redant Dec 21, 2007

    kstor33 - maybe you didn't see this statement when you read the article. Indicates to me that Durham has assisted neighboring communities in the past, poor planning or not.

    “The water utilities and the communities they serve can best cope with this exceptionally severe drought by working together and helping each other as we have in the past,” OWASA Executive Director Ed Kerwin said in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity to reciprocate the very timely help that the Durham community has given us many times.”

  • kstor33 Dec 21, 2007

    Poor planning on Durham's part SHOULDN'T constitute an emergency on anyone else's part. Tsk, tsk, tsk! This water thing is really getting out of hand. What an ugly reality and wakeup call this is for all those people who have taken our most precious commodity for granted(other than clean air). Not gold, not diamonds or oil, not Nintendo Wiis...but silly little water. Who'd a thought?! Unbelieveable! Now, for the rest of us who have been fierce environmentalistic conservatives, we have to suffer along with and because of the wasteful ones!! Oh...to live in a vacuum...per chance to dream.

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