State officials are encouraging people in the Roanoke River Basin to attend public hearings on water usage. The state is holding a series of meetings focusing on the quantity of water needed to support population growth over the next few decades. Steve Reid works for the State Division of Water Resources. He says the river and its tributaries are used for everything from drinking water to recreational boating:
"We're looking at places where there are withdrawals for either public water supply or some kind of industrial use. We're also trying to make sure there's sufficient water for that while providing for the ecological purposes of the water as well."
Reid says drought will also be discussed in the meetings. The first event was held in Weldon near Roanoke Rapids.