Cities across North Carolina are asking residents to voluntarily cut back on water use because of the dry conditions.
Governor Mike Easley has directed state agencies in 12 counties in the western part of North Carolina to stop nonessential water use. Easley also urged governments and the public to conserve water because it's not clear when the state will get enough rain to stave off drought conditions.
A moderate drought has spread from the mountains to the southern
coast, while much of the rest of the state is abnormally dry.