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for "Groundwater--North Carolina, Eastern"
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Ground water and surface water are connected and with an increase in private well use during the drought, the rivers and lakes that provide municipal water could suffer.
At one time eastern North Carolina had a good supply of freshwater. Now aquifers that supply drinking water are dropping, some as much as fifteen feet per year. New state regulations require user restrictions on aquifer withdrawals by up to 75 percent over the next sixteen years. The article discusses this water crisis and the work of ECU geologist Dr. Richard Spruill in dealing with this problem.
Groundwater is North Carolina is becoming polluted and over consumed. Most of the counties east of I-95 are almost totally dependent on groundwater as a water source. Two sections, a fifteen-county area surrounding and including Greenville, and parts of Robeson, Bladen, and Columbus Counties, are pumping water faster than it can be replenished. The 2002 North Carolina General Assembly will consider regulations to deal with these problem areas.
With underground water storage capacity dropping in the fifteen county Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area, regulations governing water usage there could be implemented as early as 2002. Some users of over 100,000 gallons of water a day, like towns and factories, would need a special permit and be required to report water use rates to the state.
Many North Carolina citizens rely on ground water for their drinking water. Thus, the importance of preventing groundwater contamination is high. Harman and Smutko discuss the federal and state government's role in wellhead protection and highlight Gaston County in the process of developing a county-wide wellhead protection program.
To protect the largest stand of maritime forest left on the Outer Banks and the Cape Hatteras Aquifer, which provides water to most of the residents in the area, the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management has proposed designating the Buxton Woods area as an Area of Environmental Concern. The designation would restrict development in Buxton Woods, and the proposal has created controversy.