Easley Calls for Collaboration as Drought Tightens Grip

Posted October 4, 2007

— Gov. Mike Easley on Thursday called for increased regional collaboration among state offices to organize meetings at which communities hardest hit by the drought can discuss water conservation and strategies for identifying supplemental water sources.

The collaborative effort was announced as much of central North Carolina is experiencing the most severe drought conditions, according to a federal report released Thursday.

“Many communities are suffering the effects of one of the worst droughts we have ever seen,” Easley said. “At least one community is already hauling water by truck from other sources, and several other towns may need to seek supplemental water sources soon."

Easley said regional cooperation is needed to make sure all residents will have ample water for everyday needs such as drinking, public health and safety.

Fifty-five of the state's 100 counties are in exceptional drought, the worst of the five drought categories that the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council uses. The Triangle, Fayetteville, Triad and Charlotte regions are included in the exceptional drought category, according to the council's weekly report.

The last time the Triangle was in exceptional drought conditions was August 2002.

The region could see scattered showers Friday, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said, but none will help improve the dry conditions.

"We've got, perhaps, a slightly better chance of getting some rain," he said. "But still, there's no sign of anything that's going to put a serious dent in this ever-growing deficit."

Levels at some of the areas main water sources are down, and the safe water supplies in most could be tapped out by the end of the year.

Raleigh's Falls Lake is down 7 feet  to 42 percent of safe capacity, leaving about 110 days of water coming from there.

Durham's Lake Michie is down 14 feet below normal, and the city has 78 days of water left before it has to begin using its reserves.

Rocky Mount's Tar River Reservoir is 15 feet below normal, leaving enough water to go until mid-December if conditions do not improve.

In Fayetteville, the Cape Fear River is flowing about 9 feet below normal, half of its normal volume.

Those numbers and the lack of rainfall leave uncertainty about the economic impact on the state's farmers, who are getting ready to put down their winter crops. They say they are unsure what kind of return they will have.

The effect on consumers is unclear.

A week ago, three-quarters of North Carolina, including all of central North Carolina, was experiencing extreme drought conditions, while exceptional drought conditions were seen only in eight counties in the western tip of the state.

Wilson, Wayne, Vance, Warren, Halifax and other areas east of the Triangle are among 31counties that remain in extreme drought conditions.

In recent months, Easley has called on all residents to conserve water and for operators of public water supplies to restrict water use.

Eighty-three public water systems have enacted mandatory water restrictions, and another 80 have enacted voluntary restrictions. Many areas have reported significant declines in water usage.


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  • Greene Giant Oct 6, 2007

    I'd love to hear from our State reps, our congress people, our our senators on what they are doing to help NC. Does NC fall under a disaster area? Haven't heard much about what is being done. It'd be great to have a national water distribution pipeline to aid drought areas. If the US can pump oil from Alaska to where ever & across the US, why not water? You'd think that someone would spend the time to dredge these empty lakes & maybe make them deeper for the next time we have a problem like this. Oh well, there are so many people talking about fines, but nothing about finding new sources of water. How about fining the water system for not living up to their responsibilities. NC, you make the people buy the water from you, but don't want to provide. Fines are just an easy way to get something for nothing. Less talk, more action. If people end up with no water, businesses (& people) are just going to go where there is some, and so do the jobs.

  • gopanthers Oct 5, 2007

    Well shoot lasted awhole 3 minutes. Must admit it was fun while it did last. LOL

  • WFrules Oct 5, 2007


  • gopanthers Oct 5, 2007

    hey its raining cats and dogs in my part of Youngsville right now. Don't step in the Poodles!

  • aquamama Oct 5, 2007

    This is easy. Stop watering your lawns. Don't plant anything, unless you are going to eat it. Collect your shower water (the water that come out before it warms up) to flush your toilet. Turn off the water while soaping up (just like at camp!). Don't wash your car except at a commercial car wash that recycles water. Wash your clothes when you have a full load. Ditto with the dishwasher. Don't fill up your swimming pool or any fountain you may have. We should be ok. But just in case we don't get any rain before January, take these precautions. In fact, you may want to consider doing them more often. Your water bill will be less.

  • zablalbaz Oct 5, 2007

    I couldn't let all your hard work just go to waste Steve Crisp ;-)

    1, 2, 3


  • Run_Forrest_Run Oct 5, 2007

    .......(Fuquay) "The assistant town manager is such a nice guy, he doesn't beleive in fining people for breaking the rules, we just frown upon it."

    "I'm tapping my foot now; don't make me shake my finger at you - you watering lawn people" "You won't like me if you make me angry" LOL

  • C_Felix Oct 5, 2007

    Hey WRAL!

    How about a story about how there is way too much growth in Wake County!?!

    Why not show all the new town-homes at the 70/401 end of Tryon Road and ask, "Where is all the water for these new homes going to come from?"

    Why not pull a Micheal Moore and storm some office in Raleigh and ask them, "Why are you letting so much building take place, why are you granting so many permits, when we don't have the resources (water & schools) to take care of the people that are already here?!"

  • strolling bones Oct 5, 2007

    to come by soon....

  • strolling bones Oct 5, 2007

    Crispie? Bush is an nazi? I just thought he was an idiot?

    I have spring water due to the heavy use of chemicals in this county in the christmas tree "farms" they should be classed as industries and taxed as that..but that is another issue..they are slowly ruining the water tables with their i will only use spring water...we have been hauling water to supplement for weeks now..even with heavy water conservations....papers cups, spoons, plates, showers...get wet turn water off ...lather...rinse....a lot of our fellow sping users have a saying..."ifs its yellow let it mellow..if its brown flush it down"..we are getting rain today but we need a whole lot more to really end this...but happy for what we are getting....put a quart jar in the back of toilet will fill with water and cause the toilet to flush with less water...we dont even worry about the lawn...all my flowers are dead..the potted have to be stark and accept water will soon be hard