Friday, November 23, 2007

Southeast drought hits crisis point

By Patrick O'Driscoll and Larry Copeland, USA TODAY

The Southeast's worst drought in more than a century is forcing parched states and communities into crisis measures to conserve water and fight for access to more.

WOES: Southeast withers from 16 months of drought

A region accustomed to plentiful rain from tropical storms and hurricanes is experiencing its second straight year of less rain in the summer and fall.

"This idea of wait-and-see, because some (rain) might be around the corner, can really suppress timely responses," says Mike Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Urgent efforts range from shutting down small-town car washes in North Carolina to a total ban on outdoor watering in Atlanta. Georgia's top water official, environmental Commissioner Carol Couch, says industrial and commercial water users very likely will have to make "across-the-board reductions" next.

Read more here.

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