State Official: Water Conservation Problems Extend Beyond Drought

North Carolina leaders are looking at technology for ways to use the state's water more efficiently.

North Carolina Division of Water Resources director John Morris said at a conference Friday that now is the time to pursue more efficient water use. Otherwise, he said the state will have to look at curbing growth or developing smaller and more expensive water reservoirs.

Morris said while the state's current drought has helped highlight the issue, he was particularly concerned about North Carolina's rapid growth and increasing thirst for water over the long term.

He also said per capita water use is on the rise -- perhaps due to subdivisions with elaborate landscapes.

Officials called a conference at North Carolina State University to discuss how communities can improve their water efficiency through strategies such as constructed wetlands and rainwater harvesting.