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Water restrictions eased
Officials urge conservation
Now the area is lush with vegetation as water in Lanier rises. - photo by Jim Dean
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Cumming and Forsyth County officials are encouraging residents to conserve water even though the state has declared the two-year drought over.

“I think from this point forward as a society, we’re going to have to adopt more conservation-minded practices and stick with those practices even in times of nondrought,” said Jon Heard, Cumming Utilities director.

“As time goes on, this region is going to continue to grow, and with more growth, comes more water demand.”

City and county water restrictions changed Wednesday when the director of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division lifted the stringent outdoor watering rules that had been in place since June 2006.

“My decision to ease outdoor watering restrictions should not be seen as a license to waste water, but as a vote of confidence in Georgians’ ability to conserve and use water efficiently,” said Carol Couch, state EPD director.

Under the current nondrought water schedule, outdoor watering is allowed three days a week on assigned days based on addresses.

Odd-numbered addresses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Even-numbered and unnumbered addresses are allowed to water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Outdoor watering may occur at any time of day on the assigned days, though it is discouraged between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Barry Lucas, deputy director of the county water and sewer department, echoed Heard’s call for continued moderation.

“Forsyth County water customers have shown their ability to conserve water throughout the various levels of restrictions that have been in effect,” he said. “While the restrictions have eased, we certainly encourage residents to remain conservation minded.”

Heard said the city had grown accustomed to the drop in water use, but its system will be able to meet the anticipated increase now that the drought has lifted.

Gov. Sonny Perdue encouraged residents not to return to their old ways.

“Georgians have seen the most severe drought on record, and have proven their ability to conserve and manage our state’s most precious resource,” he said.

“We have become more educated about water conservation, and have taken significant steps towards ensuring a long-term solution. I believe Georgians will continue to use our water resources wisely under this new outdoor watering schedule.”

FCN regional staff member Ashley Fielding contributed to this story.

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