Won’t spring and summer rains help fill the reservoir?
That’s possible. But Lake Lanier is usually “recharged” by soaking winter rains. Typically, in the summer we get fast-moving afternoon thunderstorms that aren’t as helpful at filling the lake.
And lake levels typically fall each summer, due to evaporation, reservoir management and other factors. Lake Lanier usually drops by more than 6 feet over the summer; last summer, which was especially dry, it fell nearly 10 feet.
Of course, a hurricane or other large rain event could help fill the lake. In September 2009, for instance, Lanier rose by more than 3.5 feet in just 10 days. But that’s unpredictable.
What does this mean for me?
We must all take steps to conserve water.
Most importantly, pay attention to outdoor watering restrictions and only water plants when needed during those times.
Inside the home, take shorter showers and check for leaks. Replace inefficient toilets, shower heads and other fixtures. Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when full.
Learn more about how you can conserve and take a pledge to use less water at mydroupcounts.org.
What is the current drought response for metro Atlanta?
The state has placed much of the Atlanta region in a Level 2 drought response, which restricts outdoor watering. This includes residents and businesses in Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall and Paulding counties.
Residents and businesses in these areas should only water when necessary, up to twice a week – and only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. Even addresses and sites with no numbered address may water on Wednesday/Saturday, and odd addresses may water on Thursday/Sunday.
Outdoor watering activities that are NEVER allowed:
- Washing streets, gutters, sidewalks and driveways
- Ornamental uses, such as fountains and waterfalls
- Washing vehicles (cars, boats, etc.) at home
- Non-commercial washing or pressure washing
- Charity or non-commercial fund-raiser car washes
Outdoor watering that IS allowed: *
- Irrigation of personal food gardens
- Irrigation of new and replanted seed, turf or plants for a period of 30 days following installation
- Watering with drip irrigation or soaker hose
- Hand watering, including watering cans and hoses with auto shut-off nozzles
- Use of water withdrawn from private water wells
* Not subject to the 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. or twice-a-week restrictions.
Please do your part to use water efficiently, and stay tuned for future updates.