Rains Produce Small Gain Against Drought

Posted January 3, 2008

— Heavy rains over the past week put a small dent in the statewide drought, but most of North Carolina continues to experience the worst drought conditions.

Sixty-seven of the state's 100 counties, including all of the Triangle region, are experiencing exceptional drought conditions, the worst of five categories monitored by the state Drought Management Advisory Council. A week ago, 78 counties were in the exceptional drought category.

Eleven counties in eastern and far western North Carolina moved from exceptional to extreme drought conditions, one step better. There are now 20 counties in that category, while 13 counties in the eastern edge of the state remain in severe drought conditions.

Three systems that moved across the state between Dec. 26 and Dec. 30 produced several inches of rain, prompting some areas to ease water restrictions or hold off implementing tougher rules.

Gov. Mike Easley on Thursday emphasized once again the need for continued water conservation.

“While the rain last week was most certainly welcome, it frankly did little to improve our very severe situation,” Easley said in a statement. “We all must continue our strong conservation efforts so we are able to make the most out of the modest water we did receive since the extremely dry conditions are predicted to continue.”

Thirty water systems most hard hit by the drought, including those in Raleigh and Durham, are to meet in Greensboro on Jan. 14 to discuss options for relief and to ensure they have emergency plans in place.


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  • scal Jan 4, 2008

    "...I'm starting to think that the Corp of Engineers is letting to much water out of the Falls Lake..."

    Maybe, but the size and depth of the lake has reamained the same over the last 20 years while growth has gone through the roof.

    Anyone recommend a good pressure washing service? I need to get my house washed.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 3, 2008

    There is something else that's not right with what we're being told.

    A month ago we got over an inch. The Rocky Mount, NC reservoir went up over 10 feet, the Falls Lake went up very little in comparison.

    I'm starting to think that the Corp of Engineers is letting to much water out of the Falls Lake.

  • crml Jan 3, 2008

    We were slightly behind in rainfall for 2007, but I don't buy into "exceptional drought", where drought means lack of rain. Demand has grown beyond what Raleigh and Durham and support. How come Jordon Lake, Kerr Lake, and Gaston Lake are all at or close to normal levels?

    Yes, it was a dry summer. I'm sure farmers suffered as did my yard and plants. But "exceptional" drought? I don't think so.

  • getrealpeople Jan 3, 2008

    "Would an additional 7.24 inches of rain eliminated the water shortage?"
    Yes, do the math. It just rained 1.9" the lake went up 1.5'.
    Falls lake and other lakes drop during summer and recover during Fall/winter. During the summer "YOU CUSTOMERS" on City water used an additional 20 to 25 million gallons of water to WATER YOUR GREEN GRASS. So it's the mayor's fault you put 2.4 BILLION gallons of water on your yards over the summer/fall?
    We use drinking water to wash cars, wash streets, and water grass! If you want they will treat you like children and tell you what to do or charge you enough so you will obey. We will never look like nevada. It's a drought, when area streams dried up and/or had record low flows. Ask the farmers if it was a drought!

  • applejuice Jan 3, 2008

    interesting points - i have totally bought into the "drought" based on the media hype and didn't even consider drinking water vs. drought. My shrubs are still green and the ground isn't cracking.. my well is not dry. The cities may not have as much drinking water as they did, but that cant be completely because we were short 7.5 inches of rain last year. Those of us on well water are much better off than folks relying on the poor water management and infrastructure of the municipalities.

  • veyor Jan 3, 2008

    We're going to be in a drought until the cost of water goes up, then miraculously it won't even be in the news.

  • charlesboyer Jan 3, 2008

    I think TarheelsdontlikeEdwards covered the situation very thoroughly below. Well done, sir.

    And I note in Easley's weekly water message the word "conserve" is being used liberally (pun most certainly intended,) but no mention of working towards a greater supply or slowing growth because of resource limitation.

  • crml Jan 3, 2008

    jimbo...that is exactly my point. We're not THAT short on rainfall. We received 35.81 inches where average is 43.05. Would an additional 7.24 inches of rain eliminated the water shortage? When I hear terms like "exceptional" or "extreme" it sounds like we've hardly had any rain; that just isn't the case.

    No question we need to conserve, but we also need more lakes and reserviors to support the growing population.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Jan 3, 2008

    "We're out of the drought. We're only .25" (inches) below normal rainfall for the year to date.

    "Drought" isn't defined as the level of water in any particular lake."

    "Drought" is the word that's thrown around by the City of Raleigh and the Corp of Engineers when they've mismanaged our water supply.

    The "Drought" problem is caused by the Corp of Engineers allowing the City of Raleigh to oversell the available water in the Falls Lake.

    We are not in a "Drought". In a drought the grass will wither up and die. My grass is currently green without any watering. In a drought, you will see shrubbery and trees with withering and brown leaves and pine needles. My Pine Tree and Cedar Trees have green needs with no watering. My shrubbery has green leaves with no watering. In a drought, the ground will dry up and you will see cracks in the ground along with lots of dust in the air from the dried up ground. In my yard, the ground is moist with almost too much moisture without dust.

  • PeaceOut2017 Jan 3, 2008

    We're out of the drought. We're only .25" (inches) below normal rainfall for the year to date.

    "Drought" isn't defined as the level of water in any particular lake.