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Friday, November 16, 2007

The big thirst: The great American water crisis -

The US drought is now so acute that, in some southern communities, the water supply is cut off for 21 hours a day. Leonard Doyle reports from Chattanooga, Tennessee, on a once-lush region where the American dream has been reduced to a single four-letter word: rain

Published: 15 November 2007

On Dancing Fern Mountain, in the hills above Chattanooga, Tennessee, two brothers worry about a beaver dam which is blocking access to the only fresh water supply for miles. "The dam is ruining the water and every time we tear it down, the beaver builds it again," says Larry Fulfer. "People don't think we should, but we're gonna have to get that critter and kill him."

With a slap of his tail, the beaver disappears. His dam is at the mouth of a vast underground cave system, where enough pure spring water emerges to supply the half-a-dozen families who live on Dancing Fern Mountain. "This drought has turned us into hillbillies," says Larry's brother, Brian, with evident disgust. "All we want is water in our taps."

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