Local News

Chapel Hill to Supply Durham With Water

Posted December 20, 2007 7:07 p.m. EST

— The Orange Water and Sewer Authority agreed Thursday to provide Durham with water for 30 days.

OWASA will provide about 1.5 million gallons of drinking water per day to Durham, which has less than six weeks of quality water left in its two main reservoirs, Lake Michie and the Little River Reservoir.

“The water utilities and the communities they serve can best cope with this exceptionally severe drought by working together and helping each other as we have in the past,” OWASA Executive Director Ed Kerwin said in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity to reciprocate the very timely help that the Durham community has given us many times.”

OWASA, which serves Chapel Hill and Carrboro, has about 214 days of drinking water available, Kerwin said. Providing 45 million gallons to Durham over the next month would reduce OWASA’s supply by 3 percent, or about six days of water, he said.

Durham also is working to tap 600 million gallons in an abandoned quarry to extend its water supply for about a month. The city also plans to double its purchase of water from Cary, to about 3.6 million gallons a day, beginning next month.

Kerwin said Durham has a track record of sharing water with Chapel Hill and Carrboro that dates to the 1960s.