North Carolina's record-setting drought is only forecast to get worse in the new year.
Government officials are preparing emergency plans to deal with water systems on the brink of crisis. North Carolina Division of Water Resources director John Morris says if conditions get worse, some local governments will have to begin using water rationing.
The dry 2007 year will leave much of the state with about 14 inches in rainfall deficit. That is causing trouble for farmers who don't have enough moisture to germinate crops.
The National Weather Service expects the La Nina phenomenon to make the next few months drier than normal in North Carolina. But forecasters say the summer months are more unpredictable.