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Easley to NC residents: step-up water conservation efforts

RALEIGH (AP) -- Governor Mike Easley is asking residents to step-up water conservation efforts as the drought continues to drain water supplies across the state. Easley addressed a meeting of North Carolina leaders Thursday who gathered to discuss possible emergency measures to help areas facing the worst drought conditions. Easley said individuals need to make small sacrifices to conserve water, noting that water use is inching back up after a 30 percent drop in October. He said the cooperation could avert more mandatory limits. The drought is the worst in North Carolina's recorded history. The U.S. Drought Monitor puts about two-thirds of the state in the exceptional drought category, which is the most severe condition. The remainder of the state is classified in extreme or severe drought. Easley urges higher water prices for big users Governor Mike Easley says local governments should charge higher prices for residents who use more water than necessary. Easley made the recommendation during a meeting of the North Carolina Drought Advisory Council as a way of curtailing water use. The governor says a resident's water bill is one reminder of the need to conserve resources. Easley urged a cut of 50 percent in October and usage dropped about 30 percent but has begun to climb. The U.S. Drought Monitor report said about two-thirds of the state is under the most intense category called exceptional drought. The rest of the state are in extreme or severe drought. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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