Governor Says Residents Slacking Off On Water Conservation

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Governor Mike Easley says North Carolinians aren't saving as much water as they did earlier this fall.

According to state data, daily water use within the state's largest water systems dropped 30 percent by late October, compared to use in August.

Since then, water use has crept back up. The total water use decline is now only 18 percent.

In Eastern Carolina, all major cities have shown a drop in water conservation within the past few weeks.

For the week of November 26th, Greenville has cut usage by just 11.73% since August, Jacksonville 14.44%, Rocky Mount 24.67% and Goldsboro by 32.86%.

Greenville & Jacksonville have not instituted mandatory water restrictions, while Rocky Mount & Goldsboro have done so.

(The latest data for Kinston & New Bern are not on the state web site)

Easley discussed the data Tuesday while meeting with other members of the Council of State.

During the meeting, panel members also agreed to spend more than $3 million to purchase hay bales for cattle farmers to help them through the winter.

Farmers will reimburse the state for bales bought from out of state.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says is a better alternative to farmers selling their cattle because they can't afford to feed them during the winter.