No Change in Drought in N.C.

Posted August 30, 2007 7:52 p.m. EDT

— After weeks of quickly spreading across North Carolina, the severity of the drought showed no change in the past week, according to a new state report.

Most of the state remains under severe or extreme drought conditions, the report from the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Commission shows.

The drought has forced many cities statewide to implement water restrictions to conserve drinking water supplies. Cary officials said Thursday that the town is also considering putting stricter limits in place.

Water customers in Cary and Morrisville can water three days a week under year-round alternate-day watering rules, but officials said that could change if conditions at Jordan Lake continue to deteriorate. The lake is three feet below normal levels.

“Our situation is a little different from our neighbors,” Interim Public Works and Utilities Director Mike Bajorek said in a statement. “Right now, our concern isn’t really about having enough lake water to treat or enough treatment capacity in the plant. It’s about having enough good quality lake water to make into high quality drinking water.”

Higher water temperatures and lower lake levels combined to decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, which impacts the quality of the water, Bajorek said.

Tougher limits under consideration include reducing or possibly temporarily eliminating the number of days people could water outside using automated sprinkler systems, he said.