This week's rain is welcome, City Manager Tom Bonfield said Monday night, but it's probably not enough to put off water-use restrictions in Durham.
"It's not enough to move us out of drought conditions," Bonfield said.
In late August, with the city's water supply at 77.8 percent of normal, assistant Water Manager Vicki Westbrook said Stage 1 restrictions were likely "post-Labor Day" unless Durham's reservoirs received significant rainfall.
Monday night, Lake Michie was 3.5 feet below full and the Little River Reservoir was down nine feet. The rate of water flowing into the lakes shot up once the rains began Monday morning, but had been running far below average for the past week.
Bonfield said the water department will check stream flows and lake levels later this week, but "unless something drastically changes by the end of the week" he expects Stage 1 restrictions will be announced to take effect immediately.
Under Stage 1, city water customers could run sprinklers only once a week, instead of the three days per week normally allowed; and no exemptions would be issued for keeping new landscapes alive.
Watering by hand or with drip hoses, washing cars and washing outside walls and sidewalks would be OK. If the water supply falls to 55 percent capacity, more stringent Stage 2 rules kick in.
Bonfield said he anticipates that water-use restrictions will remain in effect at least until the end of October.