While recent rains have helped a bit in North Carolina, make no mistake most of North Carolina is still in an extreme drought. Today, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley will address the Emergency Water Shortage Response Planning Workshop for the 30 communities most vulnerable to the ongoing drought at 1 p.m. Monday at the Pinecroft-Sedgefield Fire Station in Greensboro.
Currently half of all public water systems in North Carolina have some sort of water restrictions in place. 139 (22%) of the public water systems have enacted voluntary water restrictions while 151 (24%) public water systems have mandatory water restrictions.
According to a North Carolina study in 2005:
- The green industry employs nearly 152,000 people across the state.
- N.C. homeowners spent an average of $838 on lawn and landscape services during the year.
- Arborists, landscapers and lawn care professionals had total gross sales of $1.2 billion.
- Landscape architects and designers had total gross sales of $574 million.
- North Carolina had 120,741 acres in production of green-industry commodities, including 60,657 acres of Christmas trees, 27,150 acres of field-grown nursery stock and 20,838 acres of sod.
As you would imagine the landscape industry has been hit hard from the drought and the outside water ban restrictions. The Green Industry Council, an organization composed of landscape contractors and others in related businesses, have started to organize a campaign so that some residents in Mecklenburg County, N.C., can water outside again. Under the Green Industry Council proposal, residents could water on new professionally done yard work for 30 days and then after those 30 days, no more than twice a week.