Another view on the Drought


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This is an email submitted to Cleaner Times last month in response to the Editor's Note - The contractor who wrote it is very active with the PWNC but is not a forum participant. There are activities outside of these boards.

Subject: Cleaner Times, March 2008 Editor's Note

I received the latest edition of Cleaner Times in my mail Saturday, March 1, 2008. It had been quite a day for myself, as well as many in the pressure washing industry in our area. We have been struggling for months to stay in business for the exact same reasons you mentioned in your “Editor’s Note.”

Raleigh, North Carolina is often noted by many publications as a Top Place to Live, Do Business, and Raise a Family. People are arriving in droves to be able to share a bit of the benefits that make this a great place. Needless to say, our local politicians are capitalizing on that reputation by further promoting our area and encouraging huge growth.

Unfortunately, as you mentioned in your Note, it seems to me that they have not stopped to consider the impact that this growth will have. Our infrastructure is terribly taxed and in fact, failing in many areas. To compound the lack of vision that our leaders employed, our area is experiencing an historic drought. The result is that our most basic, but most important resource, drinking water, is in jeopardy.

As this area began booming, our leaders did not appear to take into consideration the fact that the single water supply for the Raleigh area, Falls Lake, may not be able to support the masses. Construction on Falls Lake began in 1978 and was completed in 1981. At that time, the population in Wake County was approximately 301,500. Today, Wake County hosts nearly 855,000 people and is projected to top 1 million by 2014. In addition to our direct consumers, our leaders have sold rights to our water to other communities. The drought, on top of an already over taxed demand on our supply, is depleting this single source of water to Raleigh. The only solution that they continue to say is to pray for rain and hurricanes.

Residents and businesses in the area are facing ever-increasing restrictions. The pressure washing industry, as the most visible consumer of water, is particularly being affected. Between the necessary restrictions and the media misrepresentations, business has all but ceased for most in our industry. Any effort on our part to contact and communicate with both the local news outlets and the legislators is often ignored.

Fortunately, the last couple of months have brought us much needed rain. Many areas within North Carolina are showing improvements and showing signs of emerging from the drought conditions. As we, the public watch the area lakes, ponds and streams recover, the main supply for drinking water in Raleigh/Wake County, continues to show diminishing supply and further restrictions are contemplated to hold private well users to the same standards as public water customers. In addition, our City leaders seek to regulate private well users, which will undoubtedly put many of us out of business as we will have no access to water at all.

It is truly time for our elected officials and city leaders to lead. It is time to take actions now with a vision for our future, rather than to run forward without any consideration to the trail left behind.

Leslie Hatcher, Owner
Triangle Professional Services
Proud member of PWNC