Extreme drought conditions continue in Tennessee and North Georg - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Extreme drought conditions continue in Tennessee and North Georgia

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The extreme drought in Tennessee and North Georgia is causing a number of problems and people are now being urged to conserve water whenever possible.

Georgia's Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has declared a "Level 1" drought response for 53 counties --- including all of the ones in the Channel 3 viewing area.

All of the water companies in North Georgia now have to tell customers to be smart about their water use during this extreme drought.    

"Water utilities have already taken action to insure that water supplies are generally good and practicing effective water conservation will help provide sufficient supplies through the coming months if dry conditions persist," said EPD Director Dunn.

Dade County Water and Sewer Authority General Manager said it's been a few years since he's been told to follow the Level 1 guidelines.

"First time we've got to stage 1 in this area in a number of years, maybe five or six," said Doug Anderton.

Part of the guidelines are letting customers know they should be conserving water whenever possible, but it's not a mandate.

"To make sure that everyone is aware we are in a drought situation, it doesn't offer too many restrictions," Anderton.

Part of these Level 1 drought guidelines suggest people waiting until after 4 pm to use water outdoors, that's typically when there's less demand.
Homeowners could be tempted to try and bring their brown grass back to life, but Anderton said don't even bother, save the water for a better cause.

"If it's not necessary, don't do them now. If your grass is already dead it's not likely you're going to revive it, don't bother watering it."

The Dade County water tanks are full and people are not in danger of a short supply this season.
But in Walker County dry ground conditions caused a water main to shift and crack on Thursday,  turning off the water for hundreds of people for the day.

The dry ground can cause cracks, and problems for farmers like Ralph West from Sand Mountain.

"It's been devastating, crops did not do as well as they could have done," he said.

West sets up shop every day in Trenton with his home-grown produce. But this year, filling up his containers hasn't been so easy.

"Those tomatoes are smaller than usually have been, the okra doesn't put out as well," he said.

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