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Raleigh To Decide Tuesday About Mandatory Water Restrictions

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RALEIGH, N.C. — If you haven't started saving water now, you may be forced to conserve after this weekend. The continuing drought has the Triangle's largest city on the verge of imposing mandatory water restrictions.

City manager Russell Allen said the combination of nature and too many people not conserving could lead to mandatory water restrictions.

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    "Our customers, I'm sure some of them are conserving but we haven't seen a significant number," Allen said.

    Nowhere are the signs of drought more apparent than at Falls Lake, where wood stumps that usually lie beneath the water surface are now rising above it, making it very difficult for boats to navigate through the water.

    Falls Lake is the primary water source for the City of Raleigh and its customers, which includes residents in Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon.

    During normal rain periods, the city pumps out 60 million gallons of water a day from the lake and other sources.

    During a drought, city leaders said it should be at least 10 percent less. But city leaders said so few people are saving water that about 60 million gallons are still being sucked out of the reservoirs.

    Mandatory water restrictions would mean residents could water their lawns only on alternate days between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

    A violation would result in a $50 fine.

    On Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council is expected to decide on whether mandatory water restrictions will be necessary.

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