Voluntary water restrictions expanding in Carolinas

Charlotte Water asking for conservation
Published: Jul. 21, 2015 at 12:29 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2015 at 12:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The list of cities and municipalities asking residents to conserve water continues to grow.
Charlotte Water asked customers to cut down on water usage.
City leaders said drought indicators are getting worse for the Catawba River basin.
Charlotte Water joins more than 40 members of the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group (DMAG) that are already in drought stage 1.
DMAG covers parts of North and South Carolina, stretching from Lancaster County, South Carolina to Lenoir, North Carolina.

Stage 1 involves voluntary cutbacks, but Bhavnani told WBTV this can be the most critical stage for conservation.

"If we do not converse the water and we do get to lower stages, then we will have to escalate, which means we will move into mandatory," Bhavnani said. "Mandatory means there are restrictions and there are fines."
City officials said conditions in the Charlotte area are the worst they have been since December, 2011.
That is why Charlotte Water is asking customers to conserve water both indoors and outside.

"Irrigation is the biggest hit on our water use. That is the highest residential water use there is," said Bhavnani. "If you want to conserve inside you home, one of the things I've been encouraging families to do is to make it a game and see who can take the shortest shower."
Charlotte Water officials encourage customers to water lawns and gardens only on Tuesdays and Saturdays evenings. They also asked people not to fill swimming pools and to turn off ornamental water features such as fountains.

Here are other ways DMAG is asking residents to conserve water:
•           Limit landscape watering of no more than one inch of water per week
•           Conserve all water use indoors and outdoors
•           Refrain from outdoor water use during the day (6am to 6pm) to reduce evaporation losses
•           Only top off swimming pools on Thursday and Sundays, between 6pm - 6am
•           Do not wash vehicles at home, please use commercial car wash locations that recycle water
•           Refrain from residential power washing
•           Businesses should educate employees and customers about water conservation practices
•           Charity groups should consider alternatives to car washes for fundraising activities
•           Property managers should repair known water leaks
•           Fleet managers should reduce car washing frequency

Previous stories: City of Charlotte, several NC counties advise residents to conserve water

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