Water Woes In Eastern Carolina: Part 1

As our state remains under the worst drought in history, many wonder if we could eventually run out of water.

It's a question Karen Wallace hears a lot. She's the superintendent for ONWASA, or Onslow County Water and Sewer Authority. Her crew pumps 7-million gallons of water daily to the majority of the counties 150,000 residents in Onslow and neighboring counties. The water comes from aquifers under the ground. That's how 52 percent of the state gets its water.

Wallace says the aquifers get recharged from rain in different parts of the state. She says the drought is a worry, particularly as more people use aquifers.

Other locations that rely on surface water, like Raleigh, may put more of a strain on the aquifers as the surface water dries up.

Using water from the rivers or ocean is not a viable option, according to Frank Sanders, Chief of Operations for ONWASA. Sanders says, "The rivers here are relatively short only a few miles long. If we tried to pull water from that we would end up drying up the river or because its connected to the ocean the salt water would move up from the ocean and we would pull ocean water in, and we cant drink that."

For now, its up to mother nature to help replenish our sources.

Thursday at six we'll take a look at communities that get their water from the surface, like the Tar river.


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