Drought Draws Concerns In Southern Kentucky

Lake Cumberland is where Pulaski farmers and those in surrounding areas get their water. It's already low to take pressure off its leaking dam. Officials say the lake still has plenty of water in it, but now the problem may be getting water out of it fast enough.

The problem is simple supply and demand. Hot and dry weather drives demand up and it's tougher to supply more water.

“It's as dry as I've ever seen it,” says Tracy Farmer of Nancy, who is having trouble supplying his little garden with enough water. His neighbors, though, many of them farmers, have it much tougher.

“It's a bad year to try to save money by growing stuff in a garden, that's for sure. Not only gardens but people growing tobacco. If we don't get any rain it's going to be a bad year.”

Farmer's water comes from the Western Pulaski Water Department. Officials there are asking people to voluntarily cut back. That request comes in the wake of a busy holiday weekend where not only locals, but tourists were all turning on the faucets. And all of that water was coming out of Lake Cumberland, which is already 30 to 40 feet lower than last summer.

“I believe we are using more water than what is going back into it (the lake),” says Dane Loveless.

Loveless believes the good rains will finally come to save his garden, but he's worried that water won't get back into the lake quickly enough.

“But that dam, they let it down at a bad time. We may be carrying water in a bucket in a day or two,” says Loveless.

U.S. Army Corps officials say the current drought is not having an impact on the lake's current elevation. But they say if the drought continues it could affect it later.