Easley: Save water, the drought isn't over

April 9, 2008 8:28:52 AM PDT
Governor Mike Easley is asking local officials to continue their aggressive water conservation efforts since the drought is not over and a hot, dry summer is still possible. He made the request in a letter sent to mayors and city and county managers Wednesday.

"I am writing to you today for two reasons. First, I want to thank you for answering my call to action to implement tougher water conservation measures during the past several months as the drought worsened. Second, I am asking that we continue our aggressive water conservation since we do not know what kind of weather the summer will bring," the letter stated.

Easley went on to acknowledge the significant amount of rain our state has received in March and early April, but warned that all 100 counties are still in some form of drought with 45 counties in extreme drought and 36 counties in severe drought status.

"Even though reservoir levels have risen, our groundwater resources, which help keep our streams flowing, are still extremely low. This makes North Carolina very vulnerable as summer approaches," Easley said.

"In short, there is the potential for exceptional and extreme drought conditions to return this summer and fall, especially with a long-range weather forecast for drier-than-normal conditions through the end of May."

Several Triangle towns have reduced water restrictions in recent weeks. On Monday, Raleigh returned to Stage One water restrictions which allows water customers to return to hand watering and car washing on the weekend.

After this weekend's rain, Falls Lake, Raleigh's main source of water, reached it's full mark. The Army Corps of Engineers says Falls Lake has not been at this level since last May.

Jordan Lake and Lake Michie are above normal.

Forecasters said the next chance of rain wouldn't come until next Friday or Saturday.


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