Georgia Drought

ATLANTA (AP) _ Georgia environmental officials are relaxing some
of the water restrictions imposed at the height of the record
drought gripping the state.
The state's top environmental official called off an order
Tuesday requiring utilities in 61 north Georgia counties to reduce
water use by 10 percent. Carol Couch also downgraded water
restrictions in counties in south and central Georgia, where
increased rainfall has improved dry conditions.
She's allowing some counties where virtually all outdoor
watering is banned to apply for exemptions.
Recent rainfall throughout the state has helped replenish many
of Georgia's drying reservoirs and streams. No part of the state is
now classified as ``exceptional drought'' _ the government's worst
category.
Yet north Georgia is still locked in an extreme or severe
drought, and forecasters warn the conditions could worsen through
the summer.


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