Drought situation worsens for Raleigh

June 17, 2008 8:14:50 PM PDT
After enjoying a few moments of reprieve, the drought situation has worsened for Raleigh water customers.The city says residents are in a more serious drought situation than at this point last year. That means more people need to do their part to conserve.

For the first time since April, Falls Lake has dipped below full. But that is hard for some people to believe, because it looks full.

"I'd say the water levels out here are good. I'd say much better than last summer. And right around normal for this time of year," Kayaker, Jason Smith said.

Families in their boats feel the same.

"They look like they're back up to normal now," Boater, Jason Dimitri said.

But looks can be deceiving says the city of raleigh's water conservationist.

"We're in a more serious drought situation at this time now than we were at this time last year," said Ed Buchan, with the city of Raleigh."We were actually considered abnormally dry last year at this time now we're already at a moderate drought situation."

A situation that has left smaller rivers and streams pretty dry; forcing Falls Lake to release more water to help out.

Several days of record heat in the triple digits hasn't helped, evaporating 40 to 50 million gallons more a day earlier in the season.

Lawn watering is up too even though Stage 1 restrictions allow it only two days a week.

"We actually have a neighbor right across the street, they just reseeded their lawn and they seem to be watering it at the hottest point of the day which as you know is kind of pointless at a grassgrowing standpoint and water conservation standpoint so that's probably not helping." Boater and Wake County Resident, Jennifer Dimitri said.

When Falls Lake is full, it holds about one year's supply of water. Customers are asked to continue to conserve.

The average customer uses about 19 percent less than they did this time last year.


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