CORRECTION: The article in this previous weekend's edition of the paper and below incorrectly states that as of May 22 watering of lawns can only take place from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Watering of lawns can actually take place from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m. once a week. Wednesdays for addresses ending with odd numbers, and Thursdays for addresses ending with even numbers. 

Stage 3 water restrictions will go into effect on May 22 unless a significant rain event occurs between now and then.

The Graham City Council, led by Mayor Pro Tem Jack Graham, made the decision after a brief discussion on the level of the lake and current rain trends. As of Thursday, the lake is at 47 percent capacity, and according to the city's drought contingency plan stage 3 goes into effect at 45 percent capacity.

The city anticipates the lake will be below that 45 percent mark by May 22, said City Manager David Casteel. According to the city's plan, stage 3 can also be put into effect if the United States Drought Monitor indicates a level of extreme or exceptional drought conditions. Currently, Young County is considered by the USDM to be in extreme drought conditions.

The main changes Grahamites will notice are that lawn watering has been reduced from two days a week to one day a week. Addresses ending with odd numbers can water lawns after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m. on Wednesdays. Addresses that end with an even number can water their lawn after 10 p.m. or before 7 a.m. on Thursdays.

Residents can still fill pools, but only on their watering day, and can water using a watering can or bucket any day.

Graham resident Jackie Pitcock said she loves her flowers and yard and wishes she could water them, but she loves being able to drink water more.

“If it comes down to whether you and I are going to have drinking water, that's a whole different ball game,” she said. “We'll just have to bite the bullet. What else can you do?”

Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.