With water supplies dwindling because of a severe drought, Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency today and asked President Bush to declare the northern part of the state a disaster area, the AP reports. The state wants permission to skirt EPA rules governing reservoir levels to deal with the drought, which is wreaking havoc on the Southeast, including Atlanta's 5 million residents.
Georgians have been under increasing water restrictions for months, and virtually all outdoor water use is banned in the state's northern counties. Gov. Sonny Perdue asked a judge yesterday to force the Army Corps of Engineers to limit the water it drains from reservoirs into Alabama and Florida streams. A climatologist says months of above-average rainfall is needed to replenish the system.