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Governor Urges N.C. to Cut Water Use as Drought Worsens

Posted August 23, 2007

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— As North Carolina's drought situation worsens, Gov. Mike Easley on Thursday urged all residents to cut back their water consumption 20 percent.

"Stream flows and groundwater levels are approaching their lowest levels in recorded history, and many of our reservoirs are declining by 1 foot every 10 days," Easley said in a news release. "We all must conserve if we are to, in any way, minimize the impact of the drought."

Easley also directed state agencies in all 100 counties to stop nonessential water use after the state Drought Management Advisory Council's latest report shows the entire state is experiencing some form of drought – from moderate conditions along the coast to what the Drought Monitor classifies as exceptional conditions in the far west parts of the state.

Most of Central North Carolina, including Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston counties, is under a severe drought, according to the report, which reflects drought conditions as of Tuesday.

Chatham, Hoke, Harnett, Lee and Moore counties are in an area experiencing extreme drought conditions.

Last week, much of the state was experiencing less severe drought conditions with the exception of six coastal counties, which were only listed in an abnormally dry status.

State officials say the state needs at least 15 inches of rain in the next few months to ease the drought conditions. But weather officials say there is no sign of significant rainfall.

Effects can already be seen across the state.

As of Thursday, 59 of the state's 597 public water systems have imposed voluntary water restrictions and 21 have imposed mandatory water restrictions, the governor's office said.

The City of Raleigh, for example, decided to implement Stage 1 water restrictions starting Tuesday, which will further limit when city customers can water their lawns.

Easley said Wednesday he will ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal assistance for farmers whose crops and livestock are suffering.

Swimming beaches at Lake Norman and Lake James in the western part of the state will close beginning Friday because water levels are so far below normal, state officials said.

83 Comments

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  • HEYGwenCOG Aug 25, 2007

    Private citizens could do their part by not leaving the water running when brushing teeth and not leaving the water running while washing dishes. If everyone in this state just did those two things, thousands of gallons of water could be saved daily.

  • LSH247 Aug 25, 2007

    THE GOVERNORS MANSION ALONG WITH THE STATE LEGISLATIVE BUILDING USE RAIN TO WATER THEIR LAWNS. IT IS CAPTURED AND RECYCLED TO WATER THE LAWNS. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT EXCESSIVELY WATER THEIR LAWNS, BUT ALL LAWNS SHOULD BE WATERED. IF THEY ARE NOT WATERED AND CATCH ON FIRE, THE FIRE COULD SPREAD TO A HOUSE AT AN EXTREMELY HIGH RATE. AS CLOSE AS HOUSES ARE BUILT TOGETHER IN A LOT OF NEW NIEGHBORHOODS, THAT WOULD NOT BE A COULD THING.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 24, 2007

    tarheel1980, banning watering of lawns will conserve 20% of the water being used by City of Raleigh water customers.

    It doesn't fix the problem, but it does add additional capacity for essential uses of water.

  • tarheel1980 Aug 24, 2007

    DontLikeEdwards: Get off your anti-Centipede campaign. You are falling right into the City's trap to place blame on someone other than themselves. The city was putting permanent water restrictions in place while the lake was full. The city of Raleigh either needs to solve the water problem or stop issuing building permits. You are going to be very disappointed if you think banning the water of lawns will provide enough water surplus to continue unmanaged growth.

  • richard2 Aug 24, 2007

    Where were you when the water ran out?

  • tamiam Aug 24, 2007

    What about people with private wells? It's my understanding that we pull our water from this underground area that connects to the Neuse River - which feeds Falls Lake. Shouldn't people on wells be required to conserve also? Are any wells in the area going dry?

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 24, 2007

    It's simple, fine everybody who has a well manicured green lawn that's been over watered for endangering the public good.

    Raleigh should ban the sale and seeding of fescue and require people to plant bermuda, centipede, zoysia, and other low water usage warm weather grasses.

  • not pc Aug 23, 2007

    look people stop complaining and start voting these people out of office.get there names so you don't forget and vote them out show these people we are tired of there abuse.thats all we have to do make sure you tell everyone to please vote these people out.if there paln is when the next rain comes they have no plan.

  • William Tell Aug 23, 2007

    will they stop using the underground watering system at the governor's mansion. If it is okay for them to water that grass, it is okay for me to water mine. Thing is, with the underground system they have at the mansion, you can not tell when they are following their own restrictions. The high and mighty government, rules don't apply to them?????

  • storyteller Aug 23, 2007

    i think i will was my car this weekend

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