With Western North Carolina still in a drought, Asheville City Government is asking residents to conserve water. This voluntary conservation effort is the first step of a three-phase plan that will be implemented if water consumption in the city cannot be curbed. The Phases are as follows:
Phase I – Voluntary Measures –
The City asks its customers to conserve water as much as possible.
Phase II – Mandatory Measures –
All citizens must conserve water. No irrigation systems can be used, no watering lawns, no washing vehicles at home, reduce clothes washing, etc. Commercial customers are asked to conserve as much water as possible while not impacting their revenue and employees’ jobs.
Phase III – Surcharges Implemented –
Additional charges per unit of water (each 748 gallons) may be imposed to encourage water conservation. The current rate surcharge is $1.40 per unit of water.
Asheville’s primary source of water is the 6 billion gallon North Fork Reservoir in Black Mountain, which is located in a 22,000 acre protected watershed. Asheville also gets water from the Bee Tree and the Mills River water treatment plants. These facilities provide water to all of Asheville.
Asheville uses a computer-based drought management modeling program that helps the city assess how much water is on-hand. The model takes into account current water levels, precipitation, past reservoir levels and recent rainfall to access future drought conditions.