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The Upper Cape Fear and Black Creek aquifers drop at the rate of eight feet per year. Fifteen counties, including Pitt, draw water from them. Representatives from state and local governments, agriculture, industry, business, and the North Carolina League of Municipalities met in March 2000 to develop regulations to limit water withdrawals by these counties. This will be the first program of this kind in the state.
Fifteen counties, including Pitt, draw water from the Upper Cape Fear and Black Creek aquifers. The water is with- drawn faster then replacement is possible. Salt water is seeping in from the ocean, and the ground above the aquifers is becoming less porous. State and local governments, industry, business, and agriculture are meeting to develop regulations to save the already-depleted aquifers.
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.
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.
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 levels in some areas of the North Carolina Coastal Plain have been lowered by over one-hundred feet since the turn of the century, according to a report by the United States Geological Survey. The area studied by this report is centered around the cities of Kinston and Greenville.