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water supply

David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia is loosening water use restrictions in more than 80 counties as the drought has eased, but not for most metro Atlanta counties.

The drought has improved in much of Georgia over the past couple months, but it's still affecting Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River.

So while the state is lifting outdoor water use rules in 86 counties, the restrictions are staying in place for 12 counties that rely on that water. They are Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Lumpkin, Paulding and White counties.

Al Such / WABE

There's a drill digging a tunnel deep under Atlanta. It cuts through granite six nights a week, all night long, 300 to 400 feet below the ground.

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Eventually, it will connect Bellwood Quarry – recognizable, perhaps, from scenes in the Hunger Games, Walking Dead and Stranger Things – to the Chattahoochee River.

Now, the bottom of the quarry, where the tunnel starts, is a construction site.

Rapper Michael Render, aka 'Killer Mike,' talks to reporters inside Bellwood Quarry where a big drill named in his honor will dig a five-mile tunnel to the Chattahoochee River.
Susanna Capelouto / WABE

The city of Atlanta is honoring rapper Killer Mike by naming a giant piece of machinery after him. A 400-foot, custom-built boring machine that will dig a key piece of Atlanta's water infrastructure will now be known as Driller Mike. The name was unveiled at a ceremony.

Killer Mike’s first reaction when he heard that the machine might be named in his honor, was, he said with a laugh, “Bull****.”

“I thought it was a joke,” he said. “I literally thought it was just a joke I saw on Twitter.”

As the reality dawned on him, he said he was flattered.

Cristian Chavez jumps into Lake Lanier while swimming with friends off Longwood Park, Monday, June 8, 2015, in Gainesville, Ga.
David Goldman / AP Photo

Despite the storms this week, it's been abnormally dry in North Georgia the past month, and most of the Atlanta area is experiencing moderate drought conditions, according the U.S. Drought Monitor. But that doesn't necessarily mean we're in a drought.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The most endangered river in the country is actually an entire river basin, and it starts in Georgia, according to the environmental group American Rivers, which released its annual "Most Endangered Rivers" list Tuesday.

American Rivers said it chose the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin because of the endless legal battles over its water.

“Two major droughts within the last decade have hit the region hard, pushing the river system to the breaking point,” according to the group's press release.

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