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Growth and dry conditions prompt more water management bills

Legislators have not forgotten the relentless drought that gripped the Tar Heel state in 2007 and 2008 and now are building on past efforts to help North Carolina better manage its water resources.

Among the bills introduced this week:

House Bill 1747 – would require local governments to submit a revised plan that specifies how their water system intends to address foreseeable future needs when 80 percent of the water system’s available supply has been allocated to current or prospective users.

House Bill 1746 – establishes a task force to design and maintain a database of statewide water and wastewater resources. The idea is to provide one source of information for tracking and locating all of the current water and wastewater infrastructure projects within the state.

House Bill 1749 – directs the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other agencies to develop a statewide survey to better assess the State’s water and wastewater infrastructure needs. The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center’s last report was completed five years ago.

House Bill 1751 – sets aside $44 million for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to award as grants, but only in the case of “critical” water and wastewater infrastructure needs.

Before this week’s welcome rainfall, the N.C. Drought Monitoring Council listed the eastern two-thirds of our state as “abnormally dry.”

2 Comments

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  2. J. Bailey

    May 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Having serious debate and solutions to the drought situation is hampered by a manufactured fear game played by news media. It is very obvious that Greg Fischel and his colleagues overplay the newsworthiness of the drought just so they can have something interesting to talk about. They over-report it and sensationalize it to scare people to intice them to watch the news. The hype that the media created caused some people to spend a lot of money in the effort to save water (remember those expensive rain barrels) and caused other people to be ignorant of the situation because they turned their TVs off after hearing the word drought 10,000 times. News media is a business. It will twist stories just to get you to watch so that it can sell ads. The Internet is truly great as the user can quickly and easily pull news from many sources to make their own opinion.