U.S. Water News Online
RALEIGH, N.C. -- While some cities are still considering
voluntary restrictions on water use, the city of Raleigh has learned
that merely asking doesn't work.
Recently, the city council warned that a request made in September
to scale back use could turn to an order unless residents and
Over a recent weekend, average use still hovered about 60 million
gallons a day, said City Manager Russell Allen.
The council was scheduled to consider Stage One conservation
rules, which would mean restrictions such as watering lawns only
three times a week and only at night until the city's water supply
Those who break the rules would face fines ranging from $50 for a
first offense to $500 for a second.
The changes also would affect eight towns that depend on Raleigh
for water: Garner, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Fuquay-Varina, Holly
Springs, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon.
The Raleigh area, which normally gets 4 inches of rain in
September, has received just .82 inches. Monthly rainfall this year,
except for April and July, has been well below normal.
"Nobody plans for this until there is a problem," said Charles
Bell, president of American Pride car washes and a member of the
city's water conservation task force. "Water is cheap. Maybe if water
went up like the price of gasoline, people would conserve."
Meanwhile, water officials in Greensboro are still considering
"We're hemming and hawing at this point," Water Resources Director
Allan Williams said while he reviewed weather forecasts. "We're
Almost a quarter of Greensboro's water soon will come from water
plants in Burlington, Reidsville and Winston-Salem.
Williams said the city has increased its water purchases since the
city's three main reservoirs started to drop in the past months.
Nearby High Point already has invoked voluntary conservation
measures, including limiting lawn watering.
Perry Kairis, public services director in High Point, said just 2
or 3 inches of rain over an extended period of time would boost
reservoir levels from their current 79 percent capacity to about 90
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