At a Water Supply Emergency meeting in Greensboro Monday, Easley urged cities and towns to start building interconnections with other municipalities and their water supplies as soon as possible in the hopes of having enough water should the drought persist. Easley also told those gathered in Greensboro -- among them representatives from 30 of the most-challenged water systems in the state -- to perform "water audits", that is, to determine how much water they lose to pipe leakage and then fix the problems.
The governor also asked municipalities to adopt conservation-based price structures for water. Such a proposal made by Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker last week was met with harsh criticism and was rejected by Raleigh's City Council.
Easley sounded optimistic as he described the current, historic drought. He called the drought a "manageable problem."
"We can solve this problem forever, so that we're prepared for dry weather in the future," Easley said.
The federal drought map for the last two weeks has shown 67 counties listed in exceptional drought (the worst level); 20 in extreme drought and 13 in severe drought.