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Town, City Officials Already Planning For Possible Water Restrictions

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — With all the rain the state has seen, the grass is already looking lush and green. But last summer, there was not enough water to go around. Many communities are preparing now to make sure that does not happen again.

Eddie Pridgen's new sod is getting a good soaking. Beginning next week, he will only be able to soak his yard three days a week.

"I'm surprised," he said.

It may seem surprising with the recent rainfall, but Fayetteville's PWC is implementing new mandatory restrictions as a precaution.

"We realize last year as did so many people, we can't take water for granted," said Carolyn Justice-Hinson, of the Public Works Commission. "We've got to be proactive and take measures to prevent any future crisis."

Last summer's drought caused water crisis in many cities and towns. Some communities dined out on paper plates. Others were not allowed to wash their cars at home. Several towns and cities have instituted water restrictions:

  • Cary has had year-round watering restrictions for three years.
  • Although they have eased since last summer, Moore County still has mandatory water rules in place.
  • Raleigh created a water conservation task force, which is expected to make recommendations to the council soon.
  • The rates are going up for irrigation only customers in Durham.
  • Chapel Hill and Carrboro leaders are considering a proposal from the public utility that suggests year-round watering restrictions.
  • Lola Allen said three days of watering is still better than a summer without being able to water at all.

    "Flowers in your yard is important to you. If you put a lot of time into it, you hope you'd be able to save it and enjoy it the whole summer without it drying up," she said.

    By law, the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources does not have the authority to require all communities to follow the same restrictions. They can only strongly encourage certain recommendations.


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