Follow rules on watering

We offer no sympathy to Rock Hill residents caught and fined by the city for watering their lawns on the wrong day. We're all in this together.

The city launched restrictions on water use two weeks ago in response to increasingly severe drought conditions. The rules limit lawn-watering to two days a week and ban residents from washing cars, outside buildings, sidewalks and driveways.

Since the restrictions went into effect, water consumption in York County has dropped by 11 percent. Consumption may drop even more now that the city is actively enforcing the restrictions.

As of Tuesday, the city began ticketing violators to help ensure that folks follow the rules. Citations will be $50 for homes and $100 for businesses, increasing with repeat citations.

The threat of a worsening drought is serious. Forecasters don't see any significant rain in the near future, and long-term relief is not likely for some time.

Thankfully, Mecklenburg County, the biggest consumer in the Catawba River Basin, finally decided to take the drought seriously. Both the county and the city of Charlotte enacted restrictions Tuesday after Duke Energy officially declared Stage 2 drought conditions on Monday.

We hope the drought will break before the landscape is entirely parched. But until it does, we urge people to abide by the restrictions and conserve water wherever they can.

Residents need to take the threat of extended severe drought conditions seriously.