For more information, including water conservation tips, visit epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation.
Forsyth is among 53 counties in Georgia that have been declared a Level 1 Drought Response by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
Due to persistent dry conditions, the declaration means local water utilized in the affected counties are required to begin a public information campaign to help residents understand what a drought is, its impact on water supplies and the need for water conservation.
EPD Director Richard Dunn said in a news release that this is a “good opportunity to partner with our public water utilities to promote good stewardship and to remind Georgians of the important of using water wisely.”
Varying degrees of drought are currently impacting about two-thirds of the state, according to the federal government’s U.S. Drought Monitor.
Nearly all of the counties affected by the EPD’s declaration are experiencing “severe and extreme drought conditions.”
The public information campaign requires both groundwater and surface water utilities to circulate drought and water conservation information in “one or more of the following: newspaper advertisements, water bill inserts, website homepages, social media and notices posted in public libraries.”
Schedules for outdoor water use under the Water Stewardship Act of 2010 remain in place, with several exceptions including new plantings.
“North Georgia has had a hot, dry summer and the fall season is historically a dry time of the year,” State Climatologist Bill Murphey said. “Current conditions are likely to continue through the fall season, although tropical activity and rain-producing systems can provide beneficial rainfall.”
Public water systems may not impose restrictions on outdoor watering that vary from state requirements unless they obtain a variance from the EPD.