Knott County Residents Encouraged To Conserve Water

People in one eastern Kentucky county are being asked to conserve water as dry conditions increase the threat of a drought.

Some parts of southeastern Kentucky are already experiencing a moderate drought.

Knott County is still in the 'Abnormally Dry' stage, but city and county officials say they don't want to take any chances with the water supply.

Knott County doesn't have one major water source; instead people rely on well water from in the city of Hindman. Officials say conservation now can help the county avoid a water crisis like last year.

“I'm 47 and it'd never been like that before, and the well went dry. Nobody had any water, you couldn't wash clothes,” Burniedean Johnson said.

“Had it not been for the National Guard I don't know what we would've done. Seriously, I don't know what we would've done because we didn't have another water source,” Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson said.

Current rain numbers show we're on wetter ground this summer.

The National Weather Service in Jackson measured 25 inches of rain since January first, compared to only 16 inches during the same time last year. But it's still more than three inches below normal.

Officials say they're trying to be proactive by asking people in Knott County to conserve, and by building a new 10-million dollar water treatment plant on Carr Creek Lake.

“Had we had this water source, like the Carr Creek Lake, available to us last year, we would not have had a crisis. The Carr Creek Lake, we can take I think up to six million gallons per day out of the lake,” Judge Thompson said.

Judge Thompson says once the county's new water system is finished, it can also act as a back-up for the city of Hindman, plus several surrounding areas.

For now the request to conserve remains in effect.

Hindman's water manager wasn't available for an interview.

The mayor told us over the phone it's “Too early in the ball game” to speculate about the water supply for the rest of the summer.

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