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Raleigh City Council Could Vote On Mandatory Water Restrictions

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh city leaders are expected to impose mandatory water restrictions Tuesday after the city's main water supply reached its lowest level since 2002.

"The lake level is as low as it ever got in 2002," said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker. "And over the next few days, it may get as low (as it has been) since it was built in the late 70s, so it's pretty dry for us."

Because the shore lines of Falls Lake, which serves as the water source for Raleigh and surrounding communities, Meeker said Monday that in all likelihood, the City Council would probably vote to pass mandatory restrictions, which could make common household chores more difficult, or even illegal.

"That means only watering your lawn every other day, not washing your cars outside, not adding water to pools and fountains -- those kinds of things," Meeker said.

Voluntary conservation, which the city has been under since Sept. 20, has reduced water consumption by 15 percent. City leaders hope mandatory restrictions save another 15 percent, meaning the area's water appetite would go from about 60 million gallons each day to about 40 million gallons.

Under mandatory water restrictions, violators using city water could be fined $50 after a second violation. If the measure passes Tuesday, the City Council would decide how much notice to give city water customers, which could begin as soon as midnight Wednesday or even toward the end of this week.

Mandatory restrictions would also be in effect for much of Wake County, including Garner, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon.


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