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As a result of recent rainfall and improving conditions, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is ending its Level 1 Drought Response in 103 Georgia counties. The decision means that almost all Georgians will return to a non-drought outdoor water use schedule.
“Rain continues to ease the flash drought conditions in Georgia that had peaked during the first half of October,” said state climatologist Bill Murphey. “The heaviest rain amounts have fallen over extreme north Georgia, central Georgia and southeastern parts of the state. As a result, soil moisture and stream flows are improving in those areas.”
To determine the appropriate level of drought response, EPD considers several factors including precipitation, stream flows, groundwater, reservoir levels, short-term climate predictions and soil moisture. EPD monitors and produces publicly available reports on these conditions on a monthly basis.
EPD encourages all Georgians to follow the non-drought outdoor water use schedule required under the Water Stewardship Act of 2010. It is in effect statewide and limits outdoor water use year-round to the hours between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. There are several exceptions to this limitation listed here.
EPD maintains a web page to keep the public informed regarding drought indicators, current variances, and EPD actions regarding drought. Water conservation information is available here.