Level 2 Drought Response
Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division declared a Level 2 drought response on November 17, 2016 across 52 counties, including the 15 counties in the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District). We all must comply with the outdoor watering restrictions imposed by the Georgia EPD outlined below, but the Metro Water District is asking everyone to go above and beyond what’s required by voluntarily conserving as much as possible.
Although we have experienced a number of rainy days in November and December, exceptional drought conditions still persist in our region. We are still well below the average rainfall we typically see for the year. From March to November of this year, just over 23 inches of rain fell in the metro area, which is nearly 14 inches below average rainfall. Stream flows and reservoir levels also remain below their normal levels.
The most recent predictions by meteorologists is that a warmer and drier winter than average is still likely. While we cannot know with certainty whether drought conditions will continue through 2017 or even beyond, we should assume this is a multiyear drought and conserve water both indoors and out.
For current drought conditions across the state, view our live link to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Outdoor Water Restrictions for Lawns, Gardens and Trees
Under the Level 2 drought response, outdoor watering of lawns, gardens and trees is limited to a maximum of twice a week (even addresses and sites with no numbered address may water Wednesdays and Saturdays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., while those in odd-numbered addresses may water on Thursdays and Sundays before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.).
Water only as needed! Remember: In the fall and winter months, outdoor plants need less water. Water when plants show signs of distress (curling, wilting, graying foliage).
- Irrigation of personal food gardens
- Irrigation of new and replanted seed, turf or plants for a period of 30 days following installation
- Watering with drip irrigation or soaker hose
- Hand watering, including hoses with shut-off nozzles
- Water from private wells and bodies of water on property
- Irrigation of sports fields, golf courses and public recreational turf areas
- Irrigation of plants for sale
What’s NOT Allowed
- Washing streets, gutters, sidewalks and driveways
- Ornamental uses, such as fountains and waterfalls
- Use of fire hydrants, except for the purpose of firefighting, public health, safety, or flushing
- Washing vehicles (cars, boats, etc.) at home
- Non-commercial washing or pressure washing
- Charity, or non-commercial fundraiser, car washes
What You Need to Know About Commercial Water Uses
For businesses with lawns, gardens and trees, all of the above restrictions apply. These include restrictions regarding the days and times when watering is allowed, as well as the six uses above that are not allowed. However, other commercial uses of water that are essential to daily business are expressly permitted. If you have questions about whether your commercial water use is subject to restriction, please ask your water utility or the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
A few additional exceptions to the Level 2 outdoor watering restrictions can be found on GA Environmental Protection Division’s site, which includes a copy of the state’s drought management rule.
Steps Metro Atlanta Residents Can Take to Conserve Water
Here are some ways metro Atlanta residents can save water:
Find more conservation tips at My Drop Counts.
Please click on your county in the map below for more information about what is going on in your area.