After a dry summer, Governor Tim Kaine is encouraging Virginia residents to voluntarily conserve water and some localities in Central Virginia have already imposed water restrictions.
However, the Rockingham Director of Public Works, Warren Heidt, says conservation now could mean no restrictions later.
"The word is, be cautious and be good stewards of the water resources, and use what you need but no more," says Heidt.
Although the water levels for Rockingham County have been consistent throughout the drought the state has been in, Heidt says residents still need to conserve.
"At this point there is no technical reason to consider restriction. However I would still urge the public to be cognizant of the fact that conservation is probably good preventive medicine at this point,"says Heidt.
Rockingham County gets its water supply from underground reservoirs called aquifers in the eastern part of the county. For now, those aquifers are at safe levels, but the county is still working on a drought response plan that would include restrictions such as: no washing of cars and no watering of gardens or lawns.
While car washing restrictions would save some water, most water usage comes from inside the home.
Heidt says, "the average family we think uses about 260 gallons per day, and some larger families will use as much as four or five hundred gallons per day."
To help avoid restrictions, the county would like to see homes use around 300 gallons or less per day.