EPD DECLARES A LEVEL 2 DROUGHT
The AJC reported:
“Georgia imposed stiff new water restrictions on Thursday as a worsening drought threatened the state’s supply.
The state Environmental Protection Division declared a Level 2 drought in 52 counties, including metro Atlanta and much of north Georgia, that limits outdoor watering to two days a week. With little rain and smoke-spewing wildfires creeping toward metro Atlanta, the order calls for the toughest water limits since the devastating droughts of the late 2000s.
“During this prolonged period of severe drought in Georgia, we are bolstering the state’s drought response in more than 100 counties,” said Gov. Nathan Deal, adding: “We urge these communities to act accordingly, use good judgment and avoid outdoor burning and watering while we continue to work with the EPD and pray for rain across the state.”
State regulators declared 53 north Georgia counties in “Level 1” drought in September as large swaths of the state plunged into extremely dry conditions, and on Monday Deal extended the order to 110 counties and banned fireworks in drought-stricken areas. That designation required public water systems to inform customers about the dry conditions – and what they can do to conserve.
After the second-hottest summer in Atlanta’s recorded history, conservationists and water planners fear another sustained drought will suck reservoirs dry and shrivel crops. About half the state is in “severe” or “extreme” drought conditions, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. And the northwest corner of the state is categorized as an “exceptional” drought.
The state’s order on Thursday restricts outdoor watering to an odd-even schedule. Residents in even-numbered addresses can water Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., while those in odd-numbered addresses can water on Thursdays and Sundays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
Washing hard surfaces, such as streets and sidewalks, using water for ornamental purposes, non-commercial pressure washing and car washing and the use of fire hydrants except for firefighting is also banned.”