House panel modifies, approves Easley drought plan
RALEIGH (AP) ó A modified proposal from Gov. Mike Easley that gives the state more power to curb water use during droughts is advancing in the House.
The House Environment Committee voted Tuesday to approve the measure.
The bill gives the Department of Environment and Natural Resources the authority to step in when it determines local water systems are not sufficiently reducing water use during shortages.
State law already requires that all municipalities and water systems create their own conservation plans.
Administration officials, local government groups and farmers had worked on the compromise plan for weeks.
Lawmakers conceded the plan isnít perfect but said itís a good way for the state to start tackling water shortages.