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Coastal Plain Counties Praised For Conservation Efforts

Coastal plain counties where the groundwater is improving.
NC Division of Water Resources
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Officials with the state Division of Water Resources say a new report shows great improvement in groundwater levels over a 15-county area in eastern North Carolina. According to state officials, deep-well, freshwater aquifers in the coastal plain have to stay above full capacity to keep from mixing with saltwater.  If they were to mix, cities would have to spend money to filter out saltwater to make their water is safe to drink.

Nat Wilson supervises groundwater management for the state and says communities are turning to shallow-water sources instead of depleting deeper wells.  

“We're withdrawing less water from the endangered aquifers and the pressure of the water in those aquifers has rebounded…somewhat,” he says. “So that's good news.  But what we're saying is that we want to stay on course.  We want the rules to stay in force and we want the future reductions to happen as they have been planned.”

Public water systems are required to seek alternatives to depleting deep wells and phase in those sources through 2018.  The Division of Water Resources updates the report every five years.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
Brent Wolfe grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and majored in American Studies at Tufts University outside Boston. In college, Brent was inspired by the narrative journalism style of J. Anthony Lukas' "Common Ground," the story of school desegregation and court ordered busing in Boston. After college, he donned a ranger hat with the National Park Service to tell visitors the story of Boston's African American community in the 19th century. Brent eventually made his way to public radio- learning the basics at WBUR in Boston and doing political reporting at KQED in San Francisco. He moved on to report for WILL in Champaign-Urbana and then Minnesota Public Radio in Rochester where he covered stories from medical research at the Mayo Clinic to a gopher catching festival. Brent joined WUNC's reporting staff in March 2000, became news editor in February 2003, and News Director in 2011. Brent served on the Board of Directors of the Public Media Journalists Association as Treasurer from 2019 to 2021.
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