New rules governing water use during droughts and water supply emergencies became effective March 19, 2007. Water users are required to report their water use for the 2007 calendar year by April 1, 2008. View the Rules
The multi-year drought that culminated in 2002 affected most of North Carolina and stressed many water supply systems. A number of communities experienced economic loss as a result of water shortages and some were close to running out of water. The experience with the drought emphasized the importance for renewing our efforts to manage our water supplies wisely.
As one response to the drought, the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 1215 (Session Law 2002-167) during the 2002 legislative session. Section 5 of House Bill 1215 required the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to evaluate water conservation measures being implemented in North Carolina and to identify incentive programs and other voluntary programs that can help foster water conservation, water reuse, and water use efficiency.
Section 3 of House Bill 1215 requires the Environmental Management Commission to develop and implement rules governing water conservation and water reuse during drought and water emergency situations. The Department has created an advisory committee representing all types of water users to get advice and assistance in drafting the administrative rule. The draft rule will then undergo the normal public hearing and comment process.
The Division of Water Resources, the Division of Soil and Water Conservation, and the Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance are working together on these tasks with assistance from other divisions. The Department will continue to consult with water users in developing the water conservation report and rules.
The Water Conservation and Water Use Efficiency report to the Environmental Review Commission and the Environmental Management Commission as mandated by Section 5 was completed in February 2004. DENR will review and revise the report in the fall of 2004 to incorporate public comments and additional water efficiency, reuse and incentive program recommendations. As we proceed with the requirements of House Bill 1215, we invite you to send us your ideas, comments and recommendations on how to promote water use efficiency and water conservation. Also, we would appreciate any comments and suggestions on the administrative rule governing water conservation and reuse during drought and water emergency situations. Please provide comments in the appropriate message board below: