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Orange Water Authority To Tighten Water Restrictions

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Parts of Orange County will soon be moving in to the next stage of water restrictions.

Right now, customers of the

Orange Water and Sewer Authority

, OWASA, are under stage 1 mandatory restrictions.

Stage 1 allows outdoor watering three times a week for customers in Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

Tuesday, OWASA, announced that on Aug. 23 it will move to

stage 2 mandatory restrictions

. That means customers will be limited to outdoor watering just one day a week.

OWASA officials said the present drought is the most severe on record for the Carrboro-Chapel Hill community. Reservoir levels have fallen from about 75 percent of capacity on April 1 to about 40 percent of capacity on Aug. 13.

OWASA estimated that the water now in its reservoirs would last about four months assuming no further rain and based on average water use in the last 30 days.

Water use fell from 13 million gallons per day in June to 11 million gallons per day in July. To date in August, however, water use has risen to an average of 11.4 million gallons per day.

While thousands of customers have limited their water use, officials said that further conservation is needed to ensure that the community will have an adequate water supply in coming months. They encourage customers to voluntarily cease or minimize all outdoor use of OWASA water.

The third or "emergency" stage would prohibit almost all outdoor water use.

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