County extends conservation plan

LAWRENCEVILLE - With Lake Lanier's level expected to hit an all-time low later this month, commissioners extended a conservation program put in place in March.

While statewide watering restrictions would have remained in place, the county's conservation plan was set to expire at the end of the year, ending programs such as a rebate for low-flow toilets and development regulations regarding multi-family units.

"We would like it to continue and move into 2009," Acting Water Resources Director Lynn Smarr said, noting that Gwinnettians are using 20 percent less water than the same time last year.

The measure approved Tuesday does not have an expiration date but is left in the hands of the county administrator to make emergency changes.

"The lake is going down. There's a drought," Smarr said, noting that forecasters predict the lake to reach its record low of 1,050.79 feet above sea level, which was set Dec. 26 last year. The lake's full pool level is 1,071 feet above sea level.