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All Dried Up: Georgia Community Faces Water ShortageAired July 31, 2000 - 2:55 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The southern United States remains in the midst of a severe drought and unless there is significant rainfall soon, some communities could run out of water by the middle of next month. Consider Griffin, Georgia.
Here's CNN's Brian Cabell.
BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Call it half full or half empty. Either way, the Head's (ph) Creek Reservoir, outside Griffin, Georgia, is drying up.
Kimsey Shedd of the water department measures it every day; down another half inch on this day.
KIMSEY SHEDD, GRIFFIN WATER DEPARTMENT: We started off full, then we're down almost 40 inches.
CABELL: Down 40 inches in the last three months. At this rate, in about three weeks, the reservoir, the backup water supply for 60,000 customers in and around Griffin, will be empty.
LISA HUTCHESON, GRIFFIN CITY MANAGER: I never dreamed anything like that would happen. It's something you don't want to face. You -- I think you take water for granted.
CABELL: Griffin's primary water supply is the Flint River, but the three-year drought has reduced it to a point where water only rarely can be drawn from it.
The city is drilling wells feverishly, searching for more water. It's buying water from neighboring counties. It's enacted a total ban on outdoor watering and a major cutback on car washes. That's money lost for owner Bill Landrum, who faults the city government for shortsightedness.
BILL LANDRUM, CAR WASH OWNER: I think that they were just wishing that it would rain, and you can't wish for rain, you got to plan for it.
CABELL: The next plan for the city, if rain doesn't come: a mandatory 50 percent water cutback on all industries. That could result in layoffs. (on camera): If that doesn't work, then more severe residential restrictions would be next, perhaps cutting off entire neighborhoods for hours at a time or cutting back the pressure to everybody all day long.
(voice-over): An unhappy prospect for Griffin residents now facing the unlikely possibility of a reservoir without water.
SHEDD: If it does happen, I'll be surprised. I'll worry about it then. What can I do?
CABELL: Not much, it appears, until the sky produces rain.
Brian Cabell, CNN, Griffin, Georgia.
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