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Easley wants more power over local water systems during droughts

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RALEIGH (AP) -- Gov. Mike Easley wants the Legislature to give him more power to curb water use and require local systems to better prepare for droughts. Easley unveiled proposals Tuesday that he will ask lawmakers to approve when they reconvene in May. Easley said the current drought has shown that North Carolina has a 19th century water network in the 21st century. One change would require local water systems to follow minimum water conservation measures in the two most severe levels of drought if they don't set their own restrictions. Another would give the governor authority to force a water system to provide water to another community in an emergency, before a threat to public health surfaces. But Easley said the key to helping North Carolina withstand the current drought is water conservation by individuals. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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