Monday, February 11, 2008

Despite Recent Rain Drought Persists; Conservation Measures Remain in Effect

The National Weather Service (NWS) reports rainfall amounts since Thursday range from one-half inch in southeast Georgia to two-inches in central and northeast Georgia. Even though the precipitation was the most many areas have received in quite some time, severe drought conditions persist in the northern third of Georgia.

"Significant rainfall deficits, below normal surface and groundwater levels and a less than promising outlook for improvement of these trends remain a cause for concern," said Barry Gooden, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS - Peachtree City Forecast Office.

Even though recent thunderstorms brought some relief to drought stricken areas, continued water conservation efforts may be a necessary fact of life in the foreseeable future for Georgia residents because the drought is not over, according to officials of Georgia's Drought Response Unified Command (DRUC).

DRUC officials say there are many effective ways to conserve water in and around your home. Look through this list for ways that will work for you.

1. When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.

2. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full. You could save 1,000 gallons a month.

3. Avoid planting turf in "hard to water areas" such as steep inclines and isolated strips along sidewalks and driveways.

4. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost instead and save gallons every time.

5. Plant during the spring or fall when the watering requirements are lower.

6. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold drinks, so that every drop goes down you not the drain.

7. Check your water meter and bill to track your water usage.

8. Wash produce in the sink or in a pan partially filled with water instead of running water from the tap.

9. Place a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.

10. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk and save 80 gallons of water every time.

DRUC comprises the directors of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, and the Georgia Division of Public Health. It was established by Governor Sonny Perdue to coordinate the state's role in mitigating the effects of Georgia's ongoing drought. For more information, visit and

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