Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The State's Water Crisis Deepens

Durham and Raleigh are being forced to consider a hold on any new construction and an actual mandatory shut-down of car washes and power-washing businesses. A ban on new water customers is possible. Considering those steps, mind you. Durham has only 52 days of "premium water" left. Raleigh ... 101 days.

Duke University in Durham is earmarking some $5 million for water-conservation projects and is giving away 5,000 low-flow shower heads to university faculty, staff, and off-campus students.

To underscore this, the worst state drought in recorded history, The Guv yesterday urged North Carolina citizens to "redouble conservation efforts" through the holiday season. The state's 800,000 heads of cattle are threatened by a hay shortage, so The Guv's Council of State okayed a $3.5 million purchase of 100,000 bales of out-of-state hay to be trucked in for farmers.

According to the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council, some 14 water systems serving 470,000 residents have regular water supplies of less than 100 days, given current conditions.

The Monroe City Council is imposing steeply increased water fees on residential users who go over 6,000 gallons a month, considered "typical usage" for N.C. homeowners. That might get the attention of wasteful users.

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