Raleigh considers stage three restrictions

February 19, 2008 10:21:38 PM PST
Some Raleigh city council members think it is time to seriously consider stage three and possibly stage four water restrictions.

Those rules are not even on the books yet, because no one ever thought the drought would be this bad.

Under stage two water restrictions, Raleigh car washes that recycle water stay in business. But there is talk about stage three and an end to all car washing.

"I think we'll all have dirty cars, no big deal," driver, John Dawson said.

It might seem like a small sacrifice to some, but it is one that could make a major difference according to Councilman Thomas Crowder.

"We need to go to the next level, develop our stage three as well as stage four," he said. "We need to be able to react according to what our water conditions are in the future."

If the council signs off on stage three rules, it could mean disposable silverware at restaurants and hand sanitizer instead of hand washing in the workplace.

From small business to big business, some companies would be asked to voluntarily reduce their hours of operation to curb water usage.

They are rules that are no more than ideas right now. Recent rain has reduced water consumption, extending Falls Lake's supply to June.

However, a potential long, hot and dry summer lies ahead.

"We're going to see about 50 million gallons a day that just evaporates off that lake," Crowder said. "So we need to be proactive in how we plan through the summer."

City leaders say creating stage four rules is not out of the question at this point.


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