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Raleigh Sees Some Progress After Imposing Voluntary Water Restrictions

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RALEIGH, N.C. — After an unusually dry September, the City of Raleigh asked customers earlier this week to cut back on their water use by 10 percent.

In the first two full days following implementation, consumption of water is down by 14 percent, city officials said.

"It's just a short time to judge," George Rogers, environmental coordinator for Raleigh, said.

City officials do not know if the reduction is because people are conserving water or because a short rain Tuesday night was enough to prevent people from watering their lawns for a few days.

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Read City Of Raleigh's Voluntary Water Restrictions

Craig Scholl, a Raleigh resident, had his sprinklers going Friday.

With all the work he's put into his yard, he said he does not want to lose his lawn now.

He said he never watered every day, but he still did not know anything about the voluntary water restrictions.

"If they don't mind, I'm going to keep doing it every third day until it's mandatory and I'll quit then," Scholl said.

Every third day is OK under the restrictions, but the recommendation is to water in the late and overnight hours.

Scholl is not the only one who had not heard about the restrictions.

Jessica Stephens prides herself on conserving.

"We definitely don't run the water when we brush our teeth, and we try to run a full load on the dishwasher," Stephens said. "We don't wash one towel at a time, so we make efforts."

But, she said, she didn't know anything about the extra emphasis to cut back.

Even if people are doing their part, the supply keeps dropping.

At Falls Lake, which provides Raleigh's water supply, the water level is about five feet below what's considered a full level.

Raleigh is not just asking its residents to cut back on water; they are asking all its customers who get water from the city. These customers also live in the towns of Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, Garner and Wake Forest.

With a forecast of no rain over the next several days, the city hopes to have a better idea if people are conserving water by Monday, city officials said.

Raleigh is not alone in asking residents to conserve water.

Fayetteville's Public Works Commission also has asked residents to cut their water use between the months of May and September.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro have year-round limitations on water use. Officials said they have no plans to implement further restrictions.



Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Courtney Davis, Photographer

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