Level 1 Drought declared for 53 Georgia counties

- A Level 1 Drought was been declared on Friday for 53 Georgia counties, including the Atlanta metro region, due to considerably dry conditions in the area.

According to the National Weather Service, from March through August, Atlanta received 16.59 inches of rain, which is nearly 8.5 inches less than the 30-year average for the same six-month period—indicating a water shortage.

The declaration is precautionary since it’s unclear how long the dry weather will continue.

As a result, water providers are required to educate the public about drought conditions and water conservation.

Georgia’s permanent year-round outdoor watering restrictions remain in effect. Residents are required to limit outdoor water use to the hours between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. to avoid the hottest part of the day when more evaporation occurs.

Atlanta residents can pick up free water-saving kits at any fire station in the city limits.

The Department of Watershed Management also offers rain barrel classes to help residents collect and conserve water. The next class will take place on Sept. 22.

As a reminder, the Department of Watershed Management gave the following tips on how Atlanta residents can save water:

  • Using a rain gage to determine how much it has rained over the week before watering outdoor plants. Most outdoor plants need an inch of water per week.
  • Water in several short sessions instead of one long session. This reduces runoff and allows water to infiltrate into soil and plant roots.
  • Only water lawns when needed. If the blades of grass don't bounce back after walking across the lawn, it is time to water. Water lawns and plants in the early morning and late evening.
  • Check and repair leaks inside and outside the home.
  • Shorten showers and turn off water when shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Fill dishwashers and washing machines. Make sure there is a full load every time.

For more information, visit atlantawatershed.org.

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