Cordele watching water supply closely - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cordele watching water supply closely

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August 9, 2006

Cordele--  Statewide watering restrictions remain in effect and many communities are taking a closer look at their water usage.

The city of Albany is considering tougher fines for those who violate the restrictions. Lee County just ended a watering ban and now the city of Cordele wants people to think twice before they turn on a sprinkler.      

It's time for Charlotte Harden to put her water hose away, at least for a little while. She runs a daycare from her home in Cordele.

"I watered the plants while I was waiting on the bus to pick up the children," says Harden. As she watered this morning, she also wondered.

"Whether or not I should be doing that," says Harden. She's heard about the drought in other parts of the state. "Because it's so dry. It's so very, very dry," says Harden. But she had no idea the dry situation reached her city of Cordele.

"I didn't hear about it. I didn't hear about it," says Harden.

"The water level has been dropping and it is just, last week it picked up and rather than dropping one foot a week it dropped two feet a week down," says Zack Wade.

Cordele City Commission Chairman Zack Wade says the drop is normal this time of year because of the heat but it's more severe than usual.

"The lack of rain has really hurt us and we need rain from North Georgia to come down and fill our aquifers up again," says Wade. So until the rain helps, they're asking people for help.

"It's strictly a precautionary move. We asked a voluntary water restriction for outside watering with no penalty but strictly voluntary," says Wade.

Wade says it should help a bit but if the supply doesn't improve those voluntary restrictions could become mandatory. "It could very well be. There's three other steps you can go to but we certainly won't go to any one of them unless it's absolutely necessary," says Wade.

So far, the people have been understanding.  Since Harden now knows, she'll also be complying.  Call it a guilty conscience. "You made me feel extra guilty," says Harden.

She'll now just concentrate on her porch plants with a little water from the house but no more lawn watering for her. "Honestly, I felt very guilty. I won't do it again," says Harden.

City leaders hope others feel the same way and shut off water hoses voluntarily.

The city will continue to read flow charts to see where the water stands before they consider further action.    

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