Following the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) declaring a Level 1 Drought Response in 53 counties, including Fulton County, residents are encouraged to take steps now to conserve water, though no usage restrictions are being put in place at this time.
â€śSince the 2007 drought, Fulton County has proactively looked for creative ways to promote and educate citizens on the importance of both protecting and conserving water resources,â€ť says David Clark, Fulton County Director of Public Works. â€śOne such example is the South Fulton Demonstration Garden, which converted an approximately one-acre of under-used land to a series of gardens with an outdoor classroom used for water-wise landscaping and environmental sustainability education programs.â€ť
According to the federal governmentâ€™s Drought Monitor ( http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?GA), varying degrees of drought currently impact about two-thirds of the state. Nearly all of the counties affected by the Level 1 Drought Response declaration are experiencing severe and extreme drought conditions. Fulton County remains committed to educating customers about water conservation efforts.
â€śWe offer both the residential and multifamily toilet rebate,â€ť says Public Works Director David Clark. â€śTo date, Fulton County has issued more than 5,200 rebates and has saved an estimated 87,517 gallons per day in water. We routinely meet with our top commercial users to educate them on water saving measures.â€ť
Public water systems may not impose restrictions on outdoor watering that are different from the state requirements unless they obtain a variance from the EPD. Public water systems needing to impose outdoor water use restrictions more or less stringent than the state requirements may apply for a variance from the stateâ€™s current drought response and EPD is required to act upon that request within 5 business days. If conditions warrant in the future, EPD can declare additional drought responses to further manage water use.
In addition, the outdoor water use schedule required under the Water Stewardship Act of 2010 remains in place statewide. This schedule allows outdoor water use year-round between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. There are several exceptions, such as new plantings, listed at http://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation. The site also lists tips for water conservation.