Officials in Durham are wondering if the city needs to slow growth to extend its supply.
According to City of Durham officials, there are only 118 days of premium water left. County leaders are wondering about ways to save.
In rural areas, there are 30,000 Durham County residents on well water who have no conservation rules. Some are wondering if that should change.
"What concerns a lot of residents in the rural areas is they have no idea how much water is left," Durham County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow said.
Now there's talk of rationing. The state could impose water limits on cities, and violators could be penalized or fined.
Durham County is still waiting for a big study to tell it how many resident the water supply can support and if Durham may need some kind of development moratorium.
"We need to look at worst case and best case scenarios," Reckhow said.