With the North Fork Reservoir overflowing, the city is lifting its voluntary conservation request, which was put in place last October.
On Tuesday, Water Resources Director David Hanks told Asheville City Council that the conservation measure, which asked water customers to voluntarily use less water, resulted in a savings of 2 million gallons per day.
Now, with the North Fork lake about three inches over full and water running over the dam, Hanks recommended lowering the level as part of the city’s flood prevention policy. That means calling off the conservation request and even opening the dam slightly to let the lake level drop.
According to the city’s flood plan and a computer modeling system used to determine the best possible lake level, the North Fork Reservoir should be about three feet low in case of hurricane-level rains such as those that caused the 2004 floods.
Much of North Carolina remains in a drought status, and Governor Mike Easley’s office continues to call for conservation statewide.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer