Officials urge water conservation
With the return of the drought, officials are encouraging conservation measures to protect available water supplies.
Lane Weiss, water conservation educator for the town of Boone, said the town has permanently adopted Stage I water restrictions as a voluntary effort to conserve water.
Those voluntary steps encourage: Reusing water whenever possible; minimizing vehicle washing; limiting lawn, garden and plant watering; refraining from washing down outside areas such as sidewalks, patios, etc.; avoiding the flushing toilets with each use; using flow-restrictive and water-saving devices as much as possible; and limiting hours of operation of water-cooled air conditioners.
The state's drought map shows that 18 counties in the western and northeastern portions of the state have reached moderate drought status, including Watauga County, which emerged from a two-year drought last spring. Officials say the worsening conditions are driven by a lack of rainfall that has hurt crops and impacted farmers in parts of North Carolina.
"Agricultural reports indicate a lack of rainfall and higher sustained temperatures are beginning to impact croplands in North Carolina," said Candice Craig, statistician for National Agricultural Statistics Service. "Pastures and hayfields have been depleted of soil moisture. Corn conditions are deteriorating and some corn crops are showing drought stress."
Last week, 51 counties were abnormally dry, a category that means drought is not present but could return without sufficient rainfall.
For other tips, go to http://www.savewaternc.org. To see the drought map, go to http://www.ncdrought.org.
Water Conservation Tips
? Turn of the water while lathering, brushing teeth, and/or shaving;
? Place a bucket in the shower to catch water while the water is warming, use this to water pets or plants;
? Have a shut off nozzle on all hose's to prevent excess water loss;
? Check all indoor and outdoor plumbing fixtures for leaks;
? Use water efficient plumbing fixtures for example, aerators or low flow shower heads;
? Use your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full;
? Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering sidewalks or driveways;
? Use a timer to water your lawn to prevent over-watering;
? Use your garbage disposal sparingly, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time;
? Water lawns and gardens in the early morning or late afternoon to prevent evaporation.
The town of Boone offers its water customers indoor and outdoor water conservation kits, along with a variety of information and even activity books for children. For more information, contact Lane Weiss, at (828) 268-6250 or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.