However, fresh water consumption is broken down as follows: 7% residential, 23% industrial use, and 70% agricultural, according to several web sources. That means: if every person in the Triangle stopped using ANY WATER for drinking or bathing, etc, the impact on local reservoirs would be minimal.
Upstream agribiz and farmers pump free water for irrigation from the rivers and streams which feed the our urban water supplies .
One acre of tobacco, for example, requires enough water to cover it 4 to 6 inches deep or 110,000 to 165,000 gal during its growing season. And tobacco is considered a drought resistant crop !
Plus, downstream agriculture must also be supplied with water from local reservoirs as well. I recall that the Falls Lake Dam is required to release a minimum of 60M gals per day, an amount which exceeds the daily use of the City of Raleigh.
I would like to suggest that your next article takes a look at the whole water use pattern for this area. It is a very complex issue which needs more scrutiny and public education.
Thanks again for your excellent reporting.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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