With one warm, dry day after another, City Councilman Howard Clement is concerned about Durham's water supply.
The city's reservoirs are at only 79.5 percent capacity, he said at Monday night's council meeting.
"I was alarmed," he said. "That seems awfully low to me, and I don't see any prediction there's going to be any rain."
Clement (right) asked City Manager Tom Bonfield to have a report on the situation and what the city staff is doing about it in time for Thursday's work session.
Now, according to the Water Department's website at 1:30 this afternoon, Durham has 158 days' worth of "easily accessible, premium water" in Lake Michie and the Little River Reservoir, plus 12 days' worth in the Teer Quarry. There's also 39 days' supply of water below the reservoirs' intakes that could be accessed with some effort. Total supply, 209 days.
That, however, is based on the past 30 days' average demand: 30.68 million gallons per day Monday. September demand is averaging 31.72 mgd -- up more than 4 million gallons per day from the 27.36 average of September 2009.
Lake Michie is two feet below its 341-foot full point; Little River is 7.5 feet below full; those levels, though, are considerably higher than they were at this point in the major drought years of 2007, 2005 and 2002.
Clement, though, is thinking ahead.
"We need to take more proactive steps to deal with this," he said. "I just don't think we're in a position to go through what we did three years ago (below)."