Of­fi­cials: Lack of rain ‘se­ri­ous’

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

With con­cerns over the re­cent dry spell, New­ton County Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Author­ity (NCWSA) Di­rec­tor, Mike Hop­kins said an ed­u­ca­tional process will be­gin to let wa­ter cus­tomers know “we’re get­ting a lit­tle se­ri­ous.”

Hop­kins, New­ton County Man- ager Lloyd Kerr, Wa­ter Re­sources Di­rec­tor James John­son and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other NCWSAS cus­tomers met Fri­day to dis­cuss the re­cent drought. All rep­re­sen­ta­tives came in con­cerned, but calm, and agreed it was time to en­cour­age wa­ter users to pay at­ten­tion.

Hop­kins said zero rain­fall has

Hop­kins said the NCWSA will be­gin send­ing out mail­ers, insert lit­er­a­ture in bills, and have crews in­form cus­tomers on the im­por­tance of con­serv­ing wa­ter.

“We pre­fer to ed­u­cate not to en­force,” Hop­kins said. “The next level would re­quire some en­force­ments. We hope we don’t have to get to that.”

The county, which owns the wa­ter sup­ply, and sells it to the NCWSA for dis­tri­bu­tion, would be re­spon­si­ble for plac­ing re­stric­tions on wa­ter use.

As of Fri­day, no re­stric­tions were to be put in place but the wa­ter sup­ply will be mon­i­tored through­out the next three weeks. The county, NCWSA and other wa­ter in­ter­ests will re­con­vene again at that time and de­cide if next steps are nec­es­sary.

The last time wa­ter re­stric­tions were man­dated in New­ton County was from the 2009-10 drought.

“Ev­ery­body is con­cerned and we want to make sure we are stay­ing on top of it,” Hop­kins said.

Bryan Fazio | The Cov­ing­ton News

The Lake Varner reser­voir is nine feet be­low full pool.

Bryan Fazio | The Cov­ing­ton News

Lack of rain and high tem­per­a­tures have caused the Lake Varner re­sevoir to de­crease as the dry sea­son ap­proaches.

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