Fact Finder: Water and Drought

February 1, 2010 

The Triangle's water systems are being strained by drought and growth. Municipalities have asked residents to help by conserving water. The resources here can help you learn more about how to conserve and about the status of our region's water supplies.

County and Municipality Water Contacts

Drought Information

  • Drought Summary (maps)
    The Division of Water Resources, part of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, maintains maps that give a visual sense on the worst drought areas in North Carolina.
  • Drought Conditions and Advisories
    The Drought Management Advisory Council monitors drought conditions across the state and is responsible for issuing drought advisories. Specific information can be found on crops, climate, and groundwater.
  • Lake Levels
    Graphical presentation by the National Weather Service of lake levels in North Carolina, especially as it relates to flooding.
  • Rainfall Totals
    Detailed rainfall information is included as part of monthly weather data. From this National Weather Service web site select the month and year for either Raleigh, Greensboro, or Fayetteville.
  • N.C. Stream Flow Information
    Stream flow is a measurement of the volume of water that moves over a designated point over a fixed period of time. When water is withdrawn from the flow, such as through heavy water use, irrigation, etc., it can significantly impact the living organisms that depend on the water, especially in smaller streams. The U.S. Geological Survey provides water stream flow information for the entire U.S.
  • National Integrated Drought Information System
    NIDIS is the U.S. government's portal to drought information for the entire country. The web site uses maps to give a visual picture of drought conditions. Additionally, there is drought forecasting and impact information.

Water Restrictions

Water Conservation Tips

  • Water Conservation Links / Tips
    These links, provided by the Division of Water Resources, are to resources that will help you learn how to conserve water in and around your home.
  • City of Raleigh Conservation Tips
    More information about the city's water conservation plan, plus conservation tips that you can do at home.
  • Save Water
    This page on water conservation, from the NC Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance, is especially for businesses.
  • Household Water Consumption Calculator
    The Orange (County) Water and Sewer Authority, also known as OWASA, provides a calculator to determine your household's water consumption. "Understanding where and how much water we use is the first step in beginning to conserve one of our most precious resources," states this Web site.

Drought-Tolerant Landscaping

  • Xeriscape North Carolina
    Xeriscape is a type of landscaping that uses little water but maintains a traditional look. In some places in the U.S., notably in the Southwest, homeowners can opt for a natural desert landscaping. But in other parts of the country xeriscape has come to represent the use of drought-tolerant plants and a reduction of irrigation. This booklet gives information to homeowners about implementing a xeriscape.
  • Helping Your Landscape Recover from the Drought
    When your yard and plants show signs of drought-related stress, check out this guide for help. From North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.
  • A How-To for Water-Effficient Landscaping
    Suggestions for creating a more drought-tolerant landscape at your home. From the Town of Cary.

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