Drought/Water Management Recommendations
Our Position: support
H2499 will protect North Carolina residents from drought and economic disruption through its many components:
Bill Number: H2499=S1879
Sponsor: Rep. Lucy Allen (D-Franklin)/Sen.Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg)
Legislative Session: 2008
Improve knowledge on water usage
This bill will require water withdrawals and transfers of 100,000 gallons per day or more to register with the Environmental Management Commission. This does not apply to agricultural water usage. Agricultural users will report water usage in an annual survey that ensures the government and public enough information to ensure an adequate water supply for farms and communities during droughts.
Minimum Conservation Standards
Water systems will have to enact strong conservation efforts in all levels of a drought to prevent a later crisis.
Leak Detection and Maintenance
Some water systems in North Carolina waste up to 30% of their treated water due to leaks in pipes. H2499 will provide funds for leak detection, and will make a leak detection plan a prerequisite for state infrastructure grant and loan funds.
Effective Water Supply Plans
H2499 will make sure local governments have realistic water supply plans that anticipate and manage droughts. The state will be given authority to reject inadequate plans.
Water Efficiency Standards
H2499 will prohibit water pricing that encourages residential water waste. It will also allow the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources to study water efficiency and make recommendations to the General Assembly and Building Code.
When a local government implements water conservation measures for irrigation, these measures will apply to private well users as well as public source users. Limits on private well conservation for irrigation may not exceed public source conservation measures. H2499 will not change the ownership or metering of private wells, but allows local governments to mandate uniform conservation.
passed into law
Contact your member of the House Environment committee and tell him or her it is important to take steps this session to respond to the worst drought in the states history.
The Sierra Club supports legislation that will:
Require registration of groundwater withdrawals and transfers over 100,000 g/day
To ensure fairness, major water users (in the industrial, agricultural and manufacturing sectors) should be on a level playing field with uniform reporting requirements.
Make Minimum Conservation Measures Mandatory in Extreme Drought
There are currently no mandatory minimums in state regulations. A standard will help local governments respond to drought consistently and quickly.
Plan for the Future Sooner
North Carolina requires local communities to write supply plans, but many plans fail to anticipate or manage drought impacts. These plans must be improved, and the state must have authority to reject plans that are inadequate.
Pay the Full Cost of the Resource
By prohibiting discounted block rates for residential customers, local water systems will have more resources to pay the full cost of water delivery, while a meaningful price signal to customers will encourage conservation.