Recommendations for Wake’s Water

Learn more about water conservation recommendations and long-term water and sewer plans for Wake County in these reports:

Public Utilities Department 2013 Water Resources Assessment and Plan  As the City of Raleigh continues to grow the need for drinking water resource planning is crucial due to the increasing demand for drinking water. At the recommendation of the City of Raleigh Water Utility Advisory Taskforce, The Public Utilities Department has prepared an annual Water Resources Assessment. This assessment provides important information that will be utilized to make future decisions. Without action for additional water storage, Raleigh and Eastern Wake County will reach limits for projected growth by 2060.

Water Utilities Transition Advisory Taskforce Final Report to City Council Raleigh Public Utilities oversees drinking water and wastewater treatment for the City of Raleigh (due to DOUBLE in population in 20 years) as well as the smaller, but fast-growing Eastern Wake municipalities of Wake Forest, Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, and Garner.  These cities face three serious drinking water and sewer challenges:  having enough water supply long-term, cleaning up polluted Falls Lake reservoir, and future very high infrastructure costs.  American cities nationwide face an enormous crisis underground because water and sewer pipes are simply aging and must be replaced, to the tune of several billion dollars in Eastern Wake County alone.  Our water has been very cheap for decades, as we’ve enjoyed paying just pennies per gallon of water.  But replacing pipes cannot be paid for with our current water and sewer fees.  No one likes their bills going up, but we must come to terms with the high value of having clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater services.

Raleigh’s City Council appointed an independent task force in 2011 to address these major water challenges.  The Water Utilities Transition Advisory Taskforce (WUTAT), composed of water experts, has made recommendations not only on how to cover future infrastructure costs, but also about how improving water efficiency and using stormwater can extend our finite water supplies.  WakeUP Wake County is monitoring the WUTAT and communicating with city officials on these water issues, so important to good growth planning.  Read WakeUP’s Letter to Council Supporting WUTAT Recommendations.

WUTAT Interim Report & Recommendations on Water Rates Chairmen of WUTAT have provided an Interim Report and an alternative to the originally proposed nine percent water and sewer rate increase scheduled for fiscal year 2011-2012.

2011 WUTAT 2009 Raleigh Water Conservation Advisory Council RecommendationsAs recommended by WakeUP’s water team, in 2008 the Raleigh City Council appointed a Water Conservation Advisory Council (WCAC) to recommend changes to year-round water restrictions and the car wash certification program, to research water conservation incentive programs, and to draft Stage III water restrictions for extreme drought conditions. The WCAC gave a presentation on its water conservation goals and strategies and issued its recommendations to the City Council in April 2009. Council approved all the recommendations, except the recommendation for a Public Information Officer. Members of City staff are currently working on implementing the recommendations.

2008 WakeUP Recommendations for Ensuring Long-term Water Supply WakeUP Wake County’s Water Team prepared a series of recommendations for ensuring a long-term water supply for Raleigh and towns in eastern Wake County. WakeUP is working with legislators, city officials, and other nonprofit organizations to advocate for these recommendations.

2008 Raleigh Long Term Water Supply Plan The City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department provides water and sewer service to more than 400,000 people in Raleigh and eastern Wake County. In 2008, the Department issued a long-term water supply plan, which examines the potential to build capacity for water supply, wastewater treatment, and water reuse to accommodate growth in the region.

2008 Report of the Water Allocation Study In accordance with legislation passed in 2007 (S.L. 2007-518, H.B. 820), the University of Chapel Hill’s School of Government and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions were commissioned to prepare a study analyzing policy options for water allocation for consideration by the NC Environmental Review Commission. Because the state currently does not require industries, large-scale agriculture, and other big water users to get a permit to make withdrawals, state water officials do not know how much of the state’s water resources are currently tapped and how much water there is to accommodate growth. The study was completed at the end of 2008, and bills were introduced in the 2009-2010 session of the General Assembly to enact some of the recommendations (SB 907 / HB 1101). More details can be found at the UNC School of Government Water Wiki.

2006 Raleigh Water Conservation Task Force Report Following the drought of 2005, the Raleigh City Council and Mayor Charles Meeker requested a report from the Raleigh Water Conservation Task Force to address continuing issues associated with the drought, and implementation of the City’s water conservation ordinance. The Task Force’s report was presented to the Raleigh City Council on April 4, 2006.

2006 Inaugural Report of the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Future of Wake County In 2005, the Wake County Board of Commissioners established the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Future of Wake County to examine Wake County’s long-term needs for facilities such as schools, libraries and jails, for infrastructure such as transportation, water and sewer, and to propose future funding strategies to pay for them. The Committee’s inaugural report was presented to the Board of Commissioners on July 17, 2006, and includes a section on water and sewer infrastructure (page 35).

2005-2006 Water and Sewer Plan Update A water and sewer plan update was prepared to aid the Blue Ribbon Committee in assessing the capacity of existing water and sewer facilities, forecasting future demands for water and sewer facilities, and establishing the funding requirements to accommodate future demands.