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Could mandatory water restrictions be a day away?

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DINWIDDIE, Va (WTVR)--As the water level at Lake Chesdin continues to drop one inch each day, those who get their water from the lake are inching closer to mandatory water restrictions.

Right now, 66 inches is the number that triggers mandatory water restrictions and the lake currently sits at 52 inches below the top of the dam.

But Thursday at 2 p.m., the Appomattox Regional Water Authority, made up of representatives from Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties as well as the cities of Petersburg and Colonial Heights, the five localities who get their drinking water from Lake Chesdin, will consider implementing mandatory restrictions sooner.

The move could help slow the rate of decline for the water level, but many believe another change in the amount of water sent down stream is the key to keeping the lake level higher.

Lake Chesdin, built-in the late 1960's, is also the Appomattox River, so if water is not flowing over the dam, it has to by law continue to flow through a spill way.

After the severe drought of 2010, which saw the lake at its lowest level, the amount of water sent through the dam was adjusted to a lesser amount.

Now some want to see the amount reduced again.

The spillway can't be closed, because it was dry up the river between Petersburg and where it emptys into the James River in Hopewell, and it would cut off the water Hopewell uses for their water supply.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality released a "Drought Warning" saying the area in south-central Virginia is under such a precipitation deficit, that a drought is imminent.