Alexander City residents have a major problem on their hands.
Water levels on Lake Martin are too low. The lake's surface is just seven feet above the city's water intake system.
If it drops any lower, the supply could be wiped out.
"This is getting to be a desperate situation, when your drinking water is about to give out," said Mayor Barbara Young.
Monday, at a public meeting, engineers proposed ways to keep water flowing, including floating a barge on the lake to keep up with demands.
Whatever the method, the mayor says, a solution needs to be found.
"It's not about washing boats or going swimming or that kind of thing. This is an essential," Young explained.
With plans drawn up and ready for approval, engineers are standing by to help.
"In case the water surface does continue to drop, we want to be in a position to implement what's needed to keep the water flowing," explained J. Steve Newton of CH2MHill, an engineering company.
The pumps on Lake Martin take in over 16,000,000 gallons of water per day.
Without substantial rain, the supply will become critical for Alexander City and thousands of residents in the area.
"It's about 50 to 60 thousand people total," Newton explained.
With so many customers plugged into just one system, the situation could be dire if the water drops even a few more feet below its current level.
Extra rain, Newton says, certainly wouldn't hurt.
"We certainly hope that mother nature will come around soon and help everybody out," he said.
Engineers tell WSFA 12 News the plans for solving the water shortage need to be approved by multiple agencies, including Alabama Power and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Once that's done, they say, a solution could be implemented in just a few weeks.