With Stage 3 water restrictions in place, Belmont must just be ignoring the severity of the drought.
In October, Governor Easley called on the municipalities throughout the state to cut water useage by 50%. According to the NC Drought Monitor, Belmont just isn’t meeting that goal.
Belmont’s average daily useage as of August 2007 was 2.4 million gallons per day.
12/10 12/3 11/26 11/19 11/12 11/5 10/29 10/22
So, what’s up with that?
It is not as if the state hadn’t given communities guidelines or unreasonable expectations. Back in 2002, during the last drought, the State passed HB 1215. 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.
At the last city council meeting, City Manager Barry Webb, spoke about the possible actions to “encourage” further water conservation, including a “temporary” water rate increase.
We all know that several businesses will be heavily impacted, and that those on “fixed incomes” will want exemptions right off the bat, if council seriously considers this added taxation.