Governor Sonny Perdue has announced that due to significant rainfall and improved water supplies the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has issued a non-drought schedule for outdoor water use for the first time since June 2006.
“Georgians have seen the most severe drought on record, and have proven their ability to conserve and manage our state’s most precious resource,” Perdue said in a statement. “We have become more educated about water conservation, and have taken significant steps towards ensuring a long-term solution. I believe Georgians will continue to use our water resources wisely under this new outdoor watering schedule.”
Under a non-drought schedule, outdoor water use is allowed three days a week on assigned days using odd and even-numbered addresses.
Odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses are allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Water use may occur at any time of the day on the assigned days, however landscape watering is discouraged between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m because of its limited effectiveness.
The change in the state’s drought response was announced at a meeting of the State Drought Response Committee. It is the first change since May 2008, when 55 north Georgia counties were under a level four drought response, which prohibits most types of outdoor water use.
“We have just lived through one of the worst droughts in Georgia history, and citizens should be applauded for the great job they have done conserving water,” said Carol A. Couch, EPD director, in a statement.
“The decision to ease outdoor watering restrictions should not be seen as a license to waste water, but as a vote of confidence in Georgians’ ability to conserve and use water efficiently,” she said.
Large water systems and local governments producing more than 100,000 gallons of water per day in the former level four drought response area must continue to file monthly water use reports. Should water supplies drop and drought conditions reappear, steps will be taken quickly to toughen water use schedules again.
Overall, north Georgians averaged monthly water savings of about 15 percent since November 2007. These reductions come from citizens and Georgia businesses implementing a variety of conservation measures, including waterSmart landscape principles and selecting more efficient indoor fixtures and devices. Georgia’s collective vision for water efficiency is presented in the recently released Water Conservation Implementation Plan (WCIP). For more information on waterSmart landscape principles and the Georgia WCIP, visit www.conservewatergeorgia.net.