Drought winding down

Can I just say YAY.

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority has lifted Stage 1 water restrictions, which limited watering to one day per week, among other measures.


OWASA customers remain on year-round conservation measures, which limit irrigation to three days per week (even addresses on Wednesday and Friday and Sunday; odd addresses on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday).

Watering is restricted to 1 inch per week and must be done before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

- Chapel Hill News: Restrictions evaporate as lake levels climb, 5/25/08

OWASA chart

Alamance fights for right to pollute Lake Jordan

Neighbors Burlington, Graham and Mebane have hired a law firm to fight the "Jordan Lake Rules" that the NC Division of Water Quality presented to the Environmental Management Commission. At issue is the unacceptable levels of nitrogen and phosphorous put into the Haw River, and thus Lake Jordan from upstream waste water and storm water runoff. Not very neighborly of them to want to keep dumping excess nutrients downstream, but as with all things the fight is really over the money that it would cost to retrofit existing infrastructure.



Potential Jordan Lake intake for OWASA, Durham, & Chatham

OWASA, Durham, & Chatham County have agreed to jointly explore the possibility of installing a water intake on the west shore of Jordan Lake where OWASA owns property. Our local Orange County governments have some misgivings about the project and these were discussed at the Orange County Assembly of Governments meeting last night, which was also attended by Durham Mayor Bill Bell and Chatham County Commission Chair George Lucier. The following is a statement that I prepared for presentation at that meeting. (I actually ended up talking off the cuff to avoid repeating points that others had previously made.)

County Commish Candidates '08

Here are some hastily scribbled notes from last night's forum to meet the new cast of county commissioner candidates hosted by the Dem Women of OC.

From the DWOC handouts :

OC is going to a 7 member CC Plan; D1 = 3 members, D2 = 2 members + 2 "At Large" members. District 1 is the 71,389 people in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District. District 2 is the 44,142 of us that make up the rest of the rest of the county. In 2008 4 commissioners will be elected. D1 gets 2 seats, D2 gets one seat and one "At-Large" seat. 3 Commishes are not up for re-election until 2010: Alice Gordon, Barry Jacobs and Mike Nelson.

From notes:

Valerie Foushee D1 - (D-CH) uncontested "safe seat" - spoke on community mental health needs and diversity in housing, said state offered current county commissioners only 2 choices in raising taxes: land transfer tax or sales tax, which she sees as more regressive

Mary M. Wolfe - At Large -- absent

Rain makes a dent

Some good news: our drought is only "extreme" now! The rain is is barely, slightly, kind of starting to catch us up.

Durham, Orange, Chatham, Person and Granville counties are now listed as being in "extreme" drought, the fourth highest of five drought classifications used by the state. The five area counties had been listed in the worst drought classification, "exceptional," for months.

- herladsun.com: Rain lowers drought category, 3/14/08

But don't stop conserving. We've got a long way to go, and OWASA's surcharges will still kick in on Monday as planned.



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