The inch of rain the Triangle received recently was not nearly enough to relieve the exceptional drought conditions and steadily dropping water supplies of Durham and Raleigh. (It would take 20 inches of rain to bring us to normal.) Durham’s water supply has dipped below 38 days and Raleigh’s water supply is now down to under 100 days.
Conditions in Durham
Durham has only cut its water consumption by 31 percent since it first put restrictions into effect, missing its goal of 50 percent by a long shot. Durham could implement Stage 5 water restrictions as soon as mid-January if rain doesn’t fall.
The change would mainly affect businesses, forcing them to use disposable silverware, plates and cups.
All car washing is banned, unless the water comes from a well.
To extend its water supply, Durham is tapping into Teer Quarry, which will give the city an additional 30 days. After that, it will begin to use low-level water from Lake Michie and the Little River reservoir.
The Situation in Raleigh
Raleigh is looking to implement Stage 2 restrictions that would ban all outdoor irrigation and washing cars with city water. First violation of the Stage 2 ordinance carries a $1,000 fine. Any recurrence of the violation will result in a disruption of water service.
Other Stage 2 measures include:
• Prohibit filling new swimming or wading pools. Filling of pools drained for repair is prohibited.
• Prohibit washing vehicles at any location, except for the 19 car washes approved by the City.
• Prohibit washing of sidewalks, patios, decks, driveways, streets, parking lots and exterior building surfaces.
• Prohibit the serving of drinking water in restaurants, except by request (this measure is already underway in Chapel Hill).
• Require innkeepers to ask guests to use their towels and bed linens more than once before laundering.
For a list of approved car wash facilities and to read more about current conditions, click here.
The water conversations apply to all City of Raleigh water customers, as well as those towns with merged water and sewer systems, which are Garner, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon.
Falls Lake currently stands at 241.77 feet — 9.73 feet below full. Falls Lake’s supply pool is 26.6 percent, which equates to a 96-day supply. Raleigh’s amended Stage 1 water restrictions, which went into effect Oct. 23, have only resulted in a 23 percent reduction of water use.
Keep conserving as much water as possible (take shorter showers and turn the tap off when brushing your teeth) and pray for rain!