RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Governor Mike Easley wants all local governments to immediately enact voluntary or mandatory water restrictions.
The drought in North Carolina has worsened, parching the entire state.
The U.S. Drought Monitor lists seven southwestern North Carolina counties in exceptional drought -- the highest stage. Another 66 of the state's 100 counties are in extreme drought, 20 are in severe drought and seven are in moderate drought.
Easley has asked state agencies in all 100 counties to stop non-essential water use and is urging citizens to cut water consumption by 20 percent.
The governor's office says some 64 public water restrictions have already implemented mandatory water conservation measures and another 53 have imposed voluntary restrictions.