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Leaders meet to discuss drought

RALEIGH (AP) -- Governor Mike Easley is urging local governments to charge more to residents who use more water than necessary. Easley said yesterday the plan would keep prices low for necessary water use but "significantly" raise the price for customers who use excessive amounts. The governor wants the plan to remain permanent for long-term conservation. The Drought Management Advisory Council met yesterday. Water use dropped about 30 percent between August and the end of October after Easley called for a 50 percent reduction. He says usage has crept up. Easley says the problem is manageable if people do their part. But he says local governments should prepare emergency plans in case the drought gets worse. Two thirds of North Carolina is in the most intense drought category. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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