In Our State

North Carolina’s population growth coupled with recent drought conditions has caused many public water supply systems to experience limited availability. As a result of increasing water supply demand, and the limited quantity of available treatable raw water, public water supply systems are implementing water efficiency programs. 

These programs range from including water efficiency tips in water bills, utilizing reclaimed water, and offering toilet rebate programs. Having available specialized staff for the promotion and implementation of demanding water management and water efficiency programs, is vital. 

Please contact your local public water supply system for information on water efficiency programs, educational outreach, or if you have any questions about water use. If you are interested in finding out if there are rebates available in your area, please visit the Water Sense Rebate Finder.

Water Use Rules & Restrictions

Water is supplied and controlled at the local level. City governments or water authorities determine levels of restriction and regulation based on water supply and demand conditions, types of users and community needs and values. A link to the current list of systems and their water restriction status can be found here. The state also tracks total water consumption for municipalities.

North Carolina General Statute G.S. 143-355(l) requires all units of local government that provide or plan to provide public water service to prepare a Local Water Supply Plan and to update that plan at least every five years. In addition, all community water systems that regularly serve 1,000 or more service connections or serve more than 3,000 people are required to prepare a Local Water Supply Plan. All water systems subject to G.S. 143-355(l) are required to write an individualized water shortage response plan or implement default water use reduction measures during times of extreme or exceptional drought.  If you would like to look at your community's latest water supply plan, please visit here and click on the "plans" tab.

Below are links to just a few examples of North Carolina local governments’ water efficiency programs.

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The City of Cary has a water conservation program that includes a tiered rate structure to encourage water rate restructure. Theit website lists the benefits of reclaimed water and even provides a list of the city-wide Water Reclamation Facilities in addition to more water conservation tips.

Review Cary's 2019 Anuual Water Quality Report.

The Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group exists to identify, fund and manage projects that help extend and enhance the capacity of the Catawba-Wateree River to meet human water needs while maintaining the ecological health of the waterway. 

Projects are funded by dues from voluntary members representing Duke and the large water suppliers that use storage in the 11-lake Catawba-Wateree Project system.

To examine the 2018-2019 Annual Report from the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group, click here

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County adopted year-round water use restrictions that apply in normal conditions, and additional restrictions that apply in water shortages.  

Their website offers an array of helpful portals educating the public on the Agua Vista program where customers can track their daily water use to a state wide Drought Monitor map, in addition to several other links regarding water conservation tips and educational resources. 


The City of Charlotte Water website offers conservation tips for both indoor and outdoor water use. 

Charlotte has also introduced the Smart Irrigation Program. The program is described as a "special irrigation water use rate" for customers who equip their irrigation systems with approved  equipment called smart controllers which are designed to reduce water demand and curtail water runoff. The new program will produce healthier landscapes and is estimated to help customers reduce their summer time watering demand by 20+%!

The City of Durham has a high-efficiency toilet rebate program encouraging customers to purchase EPA WaterSense list approved high efficiency toilets. Any toilet which meets the criteria and was purchased and installed within the last twelve months will be eligible.

The website also offers tips of how to inspect your home for leaks, the benefits of rain barrels, and water efficient showerheads and save water kits

The City of Fayetteville has a Watershed Management Program that aims to reduce pollutant loadings and stressors coming into the watershed resulting in the improvements in the quality of water in the watershed, a lower cost of treatment at the water plants, which ultimately improves the health of both the general public and the aquatic ecosystem.

Fayetteville partnered with the Cape Fear Botanical Garden and Urban & Community Forestry Program to create a tool open to the public called the Water Wise Demo Garden. The project was developed to be a tool to demonstrate water wise gardening techniques in our region.

The website also offers numerous water efficiency tips and a comprehensive Watering Schedule guide which is described as "a simple step that goes a long way to conserve our precious water supply."

The City of Raleigh has a multifaceted approach to water conservation and efficiency. The city has adopted a tiered rate structure to encourage water conservation along with a comprehensive water shortage response plan with detailed conservation stages, in the event of drought. The city also provides an array of incentives such as:

  • Raleigh Water freeFILL Program which aims to promote the use of refillable water bottle locations around the city that will allow people to fill their water bottles for free. Click here to see an interactive map of the current freeFILL stations in Raleigh.

  • Free water conservation kits for all customers including: two high-efficiency bathroom aerators, one high-efficiency showerhead, and one package of two toilet leak detection tablets.

  • Reuse water available to customers along our reuse pipeline. Public Utilities has two bulk reuse water stations. Citizens and customers can pick up reuse water for personal or commercial use. Bulk reuse water from the City is free of charge. Each customer must complete certification training before picking up or using reuse water. The Public Utilities Department provides this training.

The City of Wilmington offers a map showing the CFPUA service areas as well an interactive GIS mapping application that provides information addressing common questions regarding our services.

Review the Cape Fear Public Utilities 2020 Annual Water Quality Report.