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Decreasing Lake Level Could Mean Mandatory Water Restrictions For Raleigh

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh leaders are asking again that the city's water customers cut back on water to avoid mandatory water restrictions. But this time, they want customers to do more.

The request comes after city officials met with members of the Army Corps of Engineers Thursday to discuss low water levels at Falls Lake, which serves as the main source of water for Raleigh and other Triangle-area locations, such as Fuquay-Varina, Garner and Holly Springs.

City officials said the lake is not at a crisis level yet, but it could be within the week.

"We have yet to reach the low point that the lake reached in 2002," said Dale Crisp, city utilities director. "And of course, we did implement mandatory measures in 2002. If the lake drops to that level or below the low point like we did in 2002, then I think the prudent thing would be to move to mandatory measures."

Currently, Falls Lake is about 6 inches from where it was in 2002 when the city imposed mandatory restrictions.

On Sept. 20, city leaders imposed voluntary restrictions and asked that water customers cut back their usage by 10 percent or more.

"We need that to be doubled," said Dale Crisp/Utilities Director: "We actually need water customers to cut back an equal amount again."

The city plans to stick with voluntary conservation until the area receives normal rainfall for this time of year.


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