Local News

Poll: Most in N.C. Conserving Water

Posted March 18, 2008

— More than four-fifths of North Carolina residents have cut back on water consumption to help the state survive its worst drought in history, according to a new poll.

Elon University surveyed 473 people across the state last week and found that eliminating outdoor irrigation and car washing and taking shorter showers are among the more popular water-saving methods. Fewer are taking steps urged by the Raleigh City Council, such as installing low-flow faucets and shower heads and buying rain barrels.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

More than half of those surveyed said they had stopped watering their lawns and washing their cars and were taking shorter showers. More than 40 percent also said they were reducing how often they used washing machines and dish washers and had turned off the water to brush their teeth.

But only 28 percent of the respondents said they had installed a low-flow shower head, and less than a quarter said they were using a more efficient toilet. A mere 7 percent of those surveyed had purchased a rain barrel.

The Raleigh City Council recommended that all local residents and businesses install such water-saving devices by March 1 to reduce the city's daily water consumption. City inspectors last week began visiting health clubs, hotels, apartment complexes and office buildings to check how well businesses were complying with the plan.

About three-fifths of those surveyed said cutting water use is a primary responsibility of state and local governments and North Carolina residents. A majority also said businesses, developers, utilities and environmental groups are very responsible for reducing water consumption in the state.


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  • golowral Mar 19, 2008

    Thanks NC4Now. Surprising results.

  • Garnerwolf1 Mar 18, 2008

    5% reduction certainly doesn't seem to be that much...

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Mar 18, 2008

    Leonardo, I loved your post but you forgot to throw in anything about the democrats or liberals. You get extra credit for managing to point a finger at the illegal immigrants who, as I understand it, are at fault for nearly everything.

  • fatbaknchowchow Mar 18, 2008

    Info on water restrictions with who to call


  • fatbaknchowchow Mar 18, 2008

    Sunbaby- I think you can call the city of raleigh and they'll direct you to the proper people.

  • DontBelieveTheHype Mar 18, 2008

    I'd buy a rain barrel if they didn't cost between $100-$200 and have a return of investment in about 5 years.

  • sunbaby Mar 18, 2008

    Does anyone know how to report wasteful water usage in Raleigh?

  • NC4Now Mar 18, 2008

    Here is the math:
    For 95% accuracy, the formula is 1/(sqr-root of sample size), which produces the accuracy level.
    1/(sqr-root(473)) = 5%, so this would be 95% accurate with plus/minus 5% accuracy.

  • Leonardo Mar 18, 2008

    golowral: "NC4Now: Show us your math "

    Honestly...if he showed you the math that shows that a sampling of 473 out of 9 million gives you a statistical uncertainty of +/- 4.5%, would you even understand it? Unless you took a statistics course in college, the math would look nonsensical, and if you did take a statistics course in college, you wouldn't have asked this question to begin with.

  • Leonardo Mar 18, 2008

    Just goes to show the poor planning on the part of Raleigh. We shouldn't have to conserve regardless of how bad the drought is. There should be an infinite supply of water for us to use at all times, and Raleigh should provide it at low or no cost to us. Anything less than that is either poor planning on the part of Raleigh, or else the 'man' in Raleigh is lining their pockets with money by selling our water to the illegal immigrants. Or at least this is what I've gathered from reading these message boards.