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Officials say conservation needed because of low lake

BUFORD -- A rainy winter hasn't done enough to fill Lake Lanier, the primary source of drinking water for Gwinnett.

Despite record rains, Lanier is four feet below the average for this time of the year and about seven feet below where it was this time last year, a press release said.

Officials from the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District say the lake could soon reach a level where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be forced to restrict releases downstream, but dry conditions in south Georgia, southeast Alabama and the Florida panhandle may create a precarious situation where needs of both communities cannot be met.

"The recent rainfall has helped somewhat to overcome the deficit we experienced in the fall," said Mayor Boyd Austin of Dallas, who serves as the chairman of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District. "But, aggressive water conservation must remain a priority for all of us."

Given the low level of Lake Lanier and widespread drought in South Georgia, officials are worrying about what would happen if March rains don't materialize.

So Austin and others are calling on nearby residents and businesses to pay attention to conservation measures implemented in recent years, when the lake reached historic lows.

"Analysis of water use in our region over the last 10 years shows that the water conservation measures in the district's plans are working, and I urge everyone to remember how important it is to conserve water every day," Austin said in a press release.

The following conservation measures are encouraged:

-- mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation and add organic matter to the soil to improve water-holding capacity.

-- consider drought tolerant plants.

-- follow state outdoor watering restrictions.

-- keep showers under five minutes.

-- run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when they are full

-- install low-flow showerheads and faucets

-- check to see if your house is eligible for a toilet rebate.

More information is available at http://www.gaepd.org/Documents/outdoorwater.html.

Comments

kevin 2 years, 7 months ago

I am sort of sick & tired of hearing about conservation from the people who live here. It is time these idiots talk about drilling more water wells or finding other sources of water. Why hasn't the counties started making more lakes to hold tater? It is these very same people that caused the crises by the rapid development all of the place and now they are crying foul on us. I am paying for the water so don't try to tell me when I have to use it and how. Go try that on some other people. Stop the development you "smart" people that are running this show. What are you all going to do when people finally stop moving around here because the word is rapidly spreading about our water problems and restrictions? Have any of you wrote articles about that? I guess not.

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Ashley 2 years, 7 months ago

Heck with this. Why should we conserve more just to flush the water into Florida. What a dumb idea!

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 7 months ago

We can talk conservation until we are literally blue in the face, but the problem is simple, too many people, too much development and not enough sources of water.

Intense and aggressive water conservation is good, very good, but the problem remains that during the years in which overdevelopment was openly and actively encouraged, the powers-that-be neglected to build more reservoirs to support the overdevelopment and hyper-growth that they were openly and actively encouraging and benefitting (profitting) from.

Metro Atlanta averages 50 inches or more of rain each year, but yet we overly-dependent upon a single federally-controlled lake that is consistently running out of water while the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex averages only 30 inches or so of rain each year and is much more prone to long and sustained periods of intense drought and (with proper conservation measures) is stocked with more than enough water to weather multiple drought cycles because of their system of more than a dozen major locally-controlled and managed reservoirs that was developed INDEPENDENT of the Feds over the last 60 years and this is in a dryer climate with 20 and more inches fewer of rain each year than North Georgia which averages between 50-80 inches of rain yearly.

If Dallas and North Texas can capture and store water in a region that averages only 30 inches of rain yearly then surely Atlanta and North Georgia can capture, store and manage water in a region which averages between 30-50 inches more of rain than arid North Texas?

I'm just sayin'....

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dentaldawg83 2 years, 7 months ago

maybe the Arnmy Corps of Engineers should employ a more conservative approach to continually gutting Lake Lanier..

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