Rep. Bell is on the Joint Select Committee on the Agricultural Drought Response. He also reports that Ryan Boyles, the state climatologist and director of the State Climate Office at North Carolina State University, says the state will need 22 to 30 inches over the next six months to make "a substantial drought recovery." Writes Bell, "That's at least 2 inches above normal at a time when weather patterns show there is a high likelihood of below-normal precipitation through winter and spring."
With snow on the ground and some recent rain before that, some have been lulled unwisely into thinking that the drought must be over. It's only getting started.
This week, Governor Easley has put the water system managers from the 30 most vulnerable communities on notice that they need to act now to make sure they will have adequate water for another possibly dry summer. He called on these communities to establish connections to other water supplies (way to go, Boone & ASU!) and to conduct water audits, as well as consider pricing adjustments to reduce use.
The complete list of the 30 most vulnerable water systems:
1. Bessemer City
2. Black Mountain
3. Blowing Rock
6. Cleveland County Sanitary District
11. High Point
12. Johnston County
15. Mars Hill
23. Rocky Mount
25. Siler City
29. Woodfin Sanitary Water/Sewer District