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Following the lead of the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD), which has declared a Level IV drought response across the northern third of Georgia, the Henry County Water & Sewage Authority (HCWSA) is calling upon its customers to now cease outdoor watering until further notice.
Georgia EPD Director Carol Couch declared a Level IV drought response for north Georgia counties on Sept. 28, which prohibits most types of outdoor residential water use, effective immediately, except those exempt under Chapter 391-3-30-.05 of the Rules for Outdoor Water Use. These statewide rules apply to any entity, such as the HCWSA, permitted by EPD for water withdrawal or for the operation of a public drinking water supply system.
The current Level IV drought declaration was made following a meeting of the State Drought Response Committee, which includes representatives from several local, state and federal agencies—such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geologic Survey, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—as well as universities, nongovernmental organizations, a regional development center, the agricultural industry and the business community.
“The drought of 2007 has reached historic proportions, so it’s critical that we take immediate action to ensure that Georgians have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water (in the future),” says EPD Director Carol A. Couch. “All of the counties included in the level four declaration are located in areas of either exceptional or extreme drought.”
EPD Director Couch has stated that drought conditions will continue to be monitored, and revised drought response declarations will be issued as necessary, pending changes in forecasts and subsequent rainfall.