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Restrictions Don't Dampen Water Use in Raleigh

Posted July 10, 2007

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— Despite the enforcement of mandatory water restrictions, water use reached near-record highs last week, said Raleigh officials.

The city's water use on Saturday, July 7, was the third-highest recorded at the E.M. Johnson Water Treatment Plant, authorities said.

The Falls Lake watershed, from which Raleigh draws its water, is in a moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The high rate of water use came despite permanent, mandatory restrictions that come into effect Monday, July 2. The regulations allow City of Raleigh water customers to use lawn irrigation systems only three days a week.

Code enforcers said they issued 202 warnings during the first eight days the restrictions were in place.

The water supply in in Falls Lake was at 81 percent Tuesday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lack of rainfall has caused the water level in Falls Lake to fall for the past five weeks, said Raleigh Public Utilities Director Dale Crisp.

Falls Lake was last full on May 24, said Crisp.

The rain gauge at the Raleigh-Durham Airport is 4.6 inches below normal for the year-to-date, according to the National Weather Service.

15 Comments

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  • tarheel1980 Jul 12, 2007

    Rolling Along; Why are you so intent on controlling others? Most of the year, water is not short. What we don't use gets dumped into the ocean. Control year-round is not required practically, but only by those that wish to control their neighbors. I think we should pass laws to make dead lawns illegal.

  • Brick Tamland Jul 11, 2007

    I would never live anywhere that had a HOA. And I bet it's those people with the new McMansions that moved here in the past five years that caused the water problems in the first place that are still using the water.

  • CestLaVie Jul 11, 2007

    Too little time: I agree with conservation efforts, but disagree that they won't last forever. With all the spoiled brats in this world feeling entitled to all the water they want, restrictions may be around a long time, if not permanently.

    Many have pointed out development restrictions, infrastructure upgrades, HOA rule changes as to lawns & appearance, bldg. code changes, new hookup restrictions - all problems that certainly need addressing. Help push for their enactment.

    L0lly52: You call having a green lawn a "quality of life" & think others are trying to diminish it?? Oh my - you need to get a life!! You expect the "leaders to be responsible for adequate facilities"? Guest what - they're not!! And guess what else - they haven't adequately planned for growth. So take your frustrations and anger to the polls & elect someone who will. But for now, grow up and join the "green" movement because global warming is a fact, and the drought issue an intricate part of it.

  • methinkthis Jul 11, 2007

    There is this issue of HOA vs water restrictions that must also be resolved. My grass is dead but not because of restrictions. It is dead because the amount of water required to save it in the heat/drought costs too much. My HOA also can require that my yard look better but they are lax and we have neighbors that have never done anything for their yards, dust bowls. Serious water conservation will also address the HOA issue by not allowing fines for failure to spend a fortune on watering lawns. I estimate $200/month on water to save my yard. Seed is cheaper. For new housing or to get a new planting permit, the requirement should be only zoysia/ centipede/ St Augustine, etc, not fescue. I prefer brown in winter vs brown in summer anyway. My fall task will be drought resistant grass and not the supposedly drought resistant fescue I tried last year and was first to die this year. If we are serious about a need to conserve water, why are we allowing new hookups?

  • methinkthis Jul 11, 2007

    The water restrictions are like some kind of sick joke. It reminds me of the 'don't buy gas on this day' campaigns. So what if you don't buy gas on Monday but still drive the same amount of miles and buy gas on Tuesday. I bet some who watered for 30 minutes a day now water for 1 hour every other day. Besides the restrictions only limit irrigation/sprinkler for four days, everything else can be done BAU. Why are new hookups allowed if there is a need for conservation? Why are the building codes not changed to require more efficient plumbing practices and capture of roof runoff for non-drinking purposes. I really do not see this level 1 as a serious attempt to limit use of water. It is more like a PR stunt.

  • raptor101 Jul 11, 2007

    LMAO @ "Woman in Brown Lawn Case Wants to Move" story

    she should sue the water out of that town!!!!!!!!!

  • raptor101 Jul 11, 2007

    My HOA will fine me if my lawn has dead spots....... I am currently fighting the arrogant sob's telling them that they can stick there fine where the sun don't shine

    I would rather have water to drink that a green lawn... besides, the more I water it the more I have to mow it !!

  • half-brit Jul 11, 2007

    When water levels reach a certain level during drought NO watering of lawns or washing cars should be allowed until water levels reach reasonable levels. Another idea would be to increase water/sewer rates during a drought. This MAY...stop some people for wasting water. Heck, if ya'll had our water rates for out of town usage like in Hills'b, you wash your car twice a year and the grass gets watered when in rains. LOL

  • lolly Jul 11, 2007

    There are two sides to this story. We had not watered our grass since last summer. We are on the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday list. We have the type of grass that goes dormant during a drought, but it still needs some water. Since we use a sprinkler, we can only water on Saturday because Tuesday and Thursday we are at work. I bet Saturday peaked because a lot of folks are like us - Saturday is now the only day possible to water.

    Why is everyone so excited about diminishing our quality of life by encouraging yet more restrictions? Rampant Growth has posters calling for spanking and calling each other names? I expect the leaders to be responsible for adequate facilities. This hostility among neighbors is a direct result of our leaders’ failure to plan for growth.

  • Rolling Along Jul 11, 2007

    auklet8718,
    Doesn't matter where the water comes from, watering a huge lawn is a waste and takes away from water from other uses. They need to come up with an electronic water meter that rations it by the day, once you hit your daily supply it is turned off for the day...I guarantee you that a couple of days with now showers and the sprinkler systems would get turned off ;-)

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