Thanks to both responders for their thoughtful comments. This piece was only a beginning in what is an enormously complex story. But it always helps to hear reaction. I am in complete agreement with Tim about the overall issue of agricultural use and industrial use of water: We need to know a great deal more than we do about those practices. The "informal check list" for legislators linked off the page is an important part of this story: Almost every water person I talked to was frustrated about the degree of information we DON'T have from those two categories of users. And it is hugely complicated. Power plants use of water,for instance, varies widely; agriculture as well. We have farmer friends who use water in an completely sustainable fashion, and if we don't have good local food, we're in trouble. But of course, we also know very little about what is happening with Big Ag.
I was pleased to see that ABC11 Eyewitness News went through Raleigh's bond package and managed to get numbers of gallons used by the top 10 -- it's a piece of work I didn't have time to do, but it's critical that we have good, public data as a start to tackling these issues. ABC11 has been doing some of the top reporting locally on this.
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