N.C. Governor Calls on Municipalities to Lead Citizens in Conserving Water
On Oct. 15, Gov. Mike Easley called on the state's municipal leaders
to take the lead in directing citizens to stop using water for any
purpose that is not essential to public health and safety so
communities can save their dwindling water supplies and avoid more
According to the governor's office, the drought across much of the
state is the worst in recorded history. With a winter forecast of drier
than normal conditions, the governor said every citizen must save water
in every way possible to avoid a water crisis that could lead to
"Several communities have as little as three month' water supply
remaining. If we do not get significant rain, some areas face the once
unthinkable possibility of water rationing and potentially running out
of water entirely," asley said. " bit of mud on the car or patches of
brown on the lawn must be a badge of honor. It means you are doing the
right thing for your community and our state."
Easley spoke to the about 1,000 mayors, council members and city
managers attending the N.C. League of Municipalities Annual Conference
in Fayetteville. He asked the top officials of the state' cities and
towns to lead their communities in taking the following actions:
- Stop watering lawns and shrubbery at homes and businesses.
- Do not wash down houses, driveways or sidewalks.
-- Do not wash your car.
- Restaurants should only serve water when patrons ask.
The governor also announced that, effective immediately, there is a
statewide ban on all public burning. The N.C. Division of Forest
Resources says more than 5,940 fires have already burned more than
33,085 acres in North Carolina this year. Because the state is in the
fall fire season, with especially dry conditions throughout the state,
the threat of wildfires has substantially increased.
The governor's staff, state environment officials and members of the
League of Municipalities have been meeting to coordinate on strategies
for dealing with the drought. The governor praised local officials for
the cooperative way that many communities have responded to his
requests for voluntary and mandatory water conservation as the drought
worsened. Several communities' conservation measures have already
resulted in reduced water consumption.
Easley said that the entire state must work together to try to
lessen the drought's impact. The governor has asked Secretary of
Administration Britt Cobb and Secretary of Environment and Natural
Resources Bill Ross to personally monitor state agencies' compliance
with the water conservation directive he issued earlier this summer. He
said residents should continue to do simple things like turning off the
faucet while brushing teeth or shaving, but that the seriousness of the
drought means that cities and towns can no longer consider just the
water needs of their own populations.
For a list of water conservation tips, go to
http://p2pays.org/water/TopTen.asp. Residents can check the status of
their own community's water conservation measures at www.ncwater.org/Drought_Monitoring/reporting/displaystate.php.