Plenty of rain today and right near the average for the year, but after a severe drought last year should we be keeping an eye on how much water we use? Although it may not feel like it today, we have not made up for the rain we missed out on last year. And while the National Weather Service says we are not at risk for a drought in the near future, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority says we should always try to conserve water. At this time last year, rain fall totals were well below average at just over 20 inches. This year we are just above 34 inches, which is just below the average. But, after such a severe drought last year, experts say we need to keep conserving, to avoid restrictions in the future. < to avoid getting to that point...you don't waste water now.> [duration:0:03] Carey Disney Ricks, Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, said, "Conservation is not just a response to drought. It's a tool for ensuring that we'll have the effective and efficient water use that's needed for future customers." And though the rainfall helps most people forget about last year's drought, farmers and those that use well water are not in the clear. Rick Neuherz of the National Weather Service said, "The things that I'm worried about as the person in our office who monitors drought is the ground water and what impact the dry weather between May 1 and mid to late June had on the crops." Neuherz said well levels are near all-time lows, but people should not worry yet. We should expect rainfall to remain near the average through the rest of the summer. "I think we're getting to the point locally where that long term deficit is not as important," said Neuherz. While we are currently operating under normal conditions for water usage, there is a waste ordinance in place. If you believe someone is wasting water you can call 910-341-0114.
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