mandatory water conservation measures
In Pinehurst, water usage has been cut by more than half in a little more than one week.
At restaurants like the Pinehurst Resort's Donald Ross Grill, plastic forks and plates have replaced silverware and china.
It does not come cheap. Each plastic plate costs 45 cents. The resort's paper and plastic bill could run as high as $5,000 this month.
"It would cost you more to buy plates, throw them away with increased waste disposal, than it ever would be to wash existing china. It's costly, but at the end of the day we are doing the right thing," said Gregg Anderson, Pinehurst Co. marketing vice president.
Officials said most Pinehurst businesses and residents are doing the right thing, as water usage is down by 50 percent.
Since conservation measures have been put into place, water usage has been down as much as 60 percent. That competes with an average winter day when no one is watering their lawns.
"We've had flows at 1.1 million gallons a day, which shows we aren't just getting people to cut back on the outside of the house, but also on the inside of the house," said Dennis Brobst, Moore County public utilities director.
County leaders credit the decline, in part, to Pinehurst's older population. They believe residents of retirement age come from a more conscientious generation.
Retiree Bill Wetmore said he takes shorter showers and only uses the dishwasher when it is full.
"I'm just trying to be sensible and reasonable," he said.
If the water usage remains at its current level, county leaders said they do not anticipate having to go enact stricter restrictions anytime soon.