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Wake County Has Water, But Can It Deliver?

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HOLLY SPRINGS — Water is something we take for granted -- pen the faucet -- it's there. But now, after weeks without steady rain combined with the pressure of one new subdivision after another, the area may be drier than it looks.

Wake County has two primary water sources. Falls Lake and Jordan Lake. Even in the grueling recent heat, Jordan Lake offers plenty of drinking water for the area. The problem is getting that water to the communities that need it.

Like most of the Triangle, Holly Springs has experienced explosive growth. In the past five years, the mayor says the town has jumped from 1,000 residents, most using well water, to more than 6,600 thirsting for city water. This past weekend's emergency water ban underscores how demand has shot past supply. Standing amidst her water deprived plants, Carrie Re wonders how that was allowed to happen.

"That was surprising that these systems were not put in place prior to the rapid growth and development," says Re. "I'm not thrilled about it. Its an added cost."

Currently Holly Springs buys its water from Apex which takes from Jordan Lake, and from Raleigh which relies on Falls Lake, but without its own supply, Holly Springs could find itself left high and dry at some point.

"Sometimes the capacities are reached and there is no more water left," says Holly Springs Mayor Gerald Holleman. "Then the reserves start coming down and the tanks start coming down and we have to take emergency measures to let the reserves build back up."

But, why are water conservation efforts less restrictive in other Wake County communities? Cary Public Works Director Kim Fisher credits planning.

"We are doing a lot of joint planning right now and holly Springs has been involved in that planning -- planning for the next 15 years," says Fisher. "It will probably be another two-to-three years before those plans come to fruition."

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Cullen Browder, Reporter
Chad Flowers, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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