Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Intercepted Drought Info

An e-mail circulating from state House member Larry M. Bell lists Blowing Rock and Boone as third and fourth, respectively, on a statewide list of the 30 most drought-vulnerable municipal water supplies.

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."

Rut roh.

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
4. Boone
5. Cherryville
6. Cleveland County Sanitary District
7. Durham
8. Eden
9. Goldsboro
10. Hendersonville
11. High Point
12. Johnston County
13. King
14. Lenoir
15. Mars Hill
16. Marshall
17. Monroe
18. Morganton
19. Newton
20. Raleigh
21. Randleman
22. Robbinsville
23. Rocky Mount
24. Shelby
25. Siler City
26. Smithfield
27. Tryon
28. Valdese
29. Woodfin Sanitary Water/Sewer District
30. Yadkinville

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