The City of Raleigh got some good new. As reported on WRAL, the Army Corps approved the City’s request to reallocate Falls lake’s storage toward drinking water allowing the City to increase the drinking water withdrawals by 22 million gallons a day. As we’ve covered previously, aside from drinking water, Falls Lake has several allocated uses that include flood control and sustaining ecological functions. With this change, lake managers will look to preserve more water in the lake to supply drinking water for Raleigh.
Why is this good news for the City? Raleigh has struggled to identify long-term water sources to provide for its growing population and even explored creating a new reservoir. With this move, Raleigh’s water supply is more secure for the foreseeable future. It also raises the importance of upstream watershed protection. If Raleigh is going to be counting more on Falls Lake, the City, State and region should be stepping up efforts to prevent its pollution and protect its long-term health.