Governor Mike Easley tells local leaders the drought is worsening and says all of the state's residents must conserve water.
In addressing the State Municipal League, Easley says he needs all 8.5-million North Carolinians to do their part in saving water.
Easley urges people not to water lawns, nor wash their cars. The governor says a dirty car is now a sign of civic responsibility.
The governor also issued a ban on all public burning, saying water should not be wasted fighting fires started by careless burning.
The governor says experts do not expect much rain between now and the first of the year. Easley says without taking additional steps now, there could be water rationing next spring.