Deal elevates drought response levels, further restricts outdoor water use

November 17, 2016

Based on recommendations by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), Gov. Nathan Deal approved a Level 2 Drought Response designation for more than 50 counties. Faced with worsening drought conditions in about three-fourths of the state, 52 counties have been raised to Level 2 Drought Response and an additional 58 counties have been designated as Level 1. 

“During this prolonged period of severe drought in Georgia, we are bolstering the state’s drought response in more than 100 counties,” Deal said. “I would like to remind Georgians that there are specific guidelines and prohibitions to follow during a Level 1 and Level 2 Drought Response. 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.”
 
This week marks the 24th week of continuous severe drought in northwest Georgia, the 22nd week for the Atlanta metro area, the 21st week in northeastern parts of the state and the 15th week in central Georgia.

“Today’s declaration is driven by an extended period of little or no rain and increasing dryness in the impacted areas,” said EPD Director Richard Dunn. “What’s more, there is little hope for relief as weather forecasters expect an unusually warm, dry winter across most of the state.”

During a Level 2 Drought Response, outdoor landscape watering is only allowed two days a week determined by odd and even-numbered addresses. Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.

Prohibited outdoor water uses include:
·    Washing hard surfaces such as streets and sidewalks.
·    Water for ornamental purposes, such as fountains.
·    The use of fire hydrants, except for firefighting and public safety.
·    Non-commercial washing of vehicles.
·    Non-commercial pressure washing.
·    Fundraising car washes.

Those counties assigned a Level 2 Drought Response are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Athens-Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Harris, Heard, Henry, Jackson, Lamar, Lumpkin, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Murray, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Union, Upson, Walker, Walton, White and Whitfield.

The additional counties assigned a Level 1 Drought Response are: Baker, Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Columbia, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Elbert, Franklin, Glascock, Greene, Hancock, Hart, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Jones, Laurens, Lee, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Marion, McDuffie, Miller, Mitchell, Muscogee, Oglethorpe, Peach, Pulaski, Putnam, Quitman, Rabun, Randolph, Richmond, Schley, Seminole, Stephens, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Taylor, Terrell, Towns, Twiggs, Warren, Washington, Webster, Wilkes and Wilkinson.

A drought management fact sheet and a map of Level 1 and Level 2 Drought Response areas are attached. For more information on water conservation and the rules of drought management, visit EPD’s website here.

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