KeD Roinard Independent-Mall photos

.lim Reed waters plants at S.K. Busby Nursery Garden Center in Anderson on Tuesdav. Drought conditions have Itept IWI "ries a ud gardeners busy watering what plants th.ey want to save.

Committee will consider drought status at meeting today
fly f:elly Davis
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A sign stands
on a beach" area about 100 feet from the receding . shoreline

Tile SOllth Carolina State Drought Response Cummittee meets today and may recommend to Go\'. J illl Hodges thal parts or all of the state should Ir-- rleclared in extreme drought. a condi· tion (1)"t 11JSn'I been seen since 1986. An i',ll'eme drought declaration opens the way nil' tiw �"vernor to require certain mandatory
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11:111 011 commercial irrigation. private garden Iti'ring and car washing. Gov, Hodges' spokes·

restrictions in aftecled areas. including a

loading dock at Darwin Wright

Mwlicipal
Park at Hattwell Lake on

r1o'l<e see Drought, Page 8A

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..... Tuesday,

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1V0man Cortney Owings said. The exact res tri c t i o n s would be reached after con· suiting w i t h local govern· ments. some of which have already instituted voluntary o r mandatory res t r ict ions. j\·ls. Owings said. Res trictions most likely would affect the relative luxu· ries or private individuals first. such as Imvn sprinkl ing. pool filling and car washing. she said. .Com mercial users . w h i le enco uraged to voluntarily conserve water. would proba­ bly be spared mandaLOry water restrictions unless con· d itions continue 10 deterio· rate. Walhalla banned its water

OM THE INTERN T
State drought information Web sites: .) South Carolina Climate Office: www. d n r.state.sc.us/cli mate/sco/i ndex.html <) Georgia Drought Web site: www.georgiadrougllt . org
customers from o u tdoor watering July 10 because the !Own's water source. Poor Farm Lake. has receded sub· Wa ter s t a n tially. Superintendent Scott Par ris said. All of South Carolina is currently in severe drought status. the res u l l of the Drough l Response Commi rtee's last meeting ,J une 19.

S ince then, little rain h�s fallen and stream flolV s . groundwater a n d s o i l mois· ture have conti nued to S tate acting decline. Climatologist Milt Brown said. The committee will consid­ er those and other drought indices as well as reports of specific effects in each of the fo u r state's D rought Management Areas to decide w h ich areas should move to extreme drought status. Mr. Brown said. A news conference to dis­ cuss the committee's recom­ mendations and the gover­ nor's response is planned f r 2 o p. m. today in Columbia. Of most concern to state offic ials is the shrinking Pee Dee R iver. which fills s LX

reservoirs in North Carolina before reach ing South Carolina, said Danny Johnson, chief of the state Department of Natural Resources' land and water resources office. If the river shrinks much more, salt water from the threaten Atlan tic could coastal water supplies fed by the river. he said. His prediction for today's meeting is continued severe drought status fo r the west. central and southern manage­ ment areas b u t a s h ift to extreme drough t in the north­ east area that includes the Pee Dee River.

University Clemson Agricultural Meteoro logist Dale LinviU agreed.

"[ think we're going to see them raise the level of the drought a little bit in the Pee Dee, mainly beca use of stream flows." h e said. Hartwell Lake, although almost 10 feet below its aver· age depth for late July. is s t i ll more than 3 0 feet above the Anderson Reg io nal Joint Municipal Water System's intake pipe. Administrative Manager Kent Guthrie said.
A s comforting as that sounds. l\ i e. Linvill said the whole stale has entered the longest period of consecutive

months of below·normal rain· fall s ince the 1890s, he said. That has had exacted a toll on some well·dependent resi­ dents. County Council member Larry Greer, who represents rural District 3, said he gets a call per week from people whose lives have been disrupt· ed by dry wells. He listed some o f their com­ plain ts: "There's no water. or the water tastes bad or smells bad . There's not enough water to do laundry at home. There's nOl enough water to water livestock. , have people who are hauling water to water their lives tock ."

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