Recent rain helps, but... - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Recent rain helps, but...

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January 24, 2008

 Albany --  Including today, it's rained six days in south Georgia so far this year, but is it helping with the drought?

So far, the 3.3 inches of rainfall is just considered average, but it's filled streams and creeks that last month were dry.

  It's encouraging news, but it doesn't mean we've turned the corner on a drought, in fact a drought declaration for southwest Georgia is expected some time next month. 

"The one that I always bring up is Spring Creek down in extreme southwest Georgia, it's flowing again it was literally dry all of last summer," says Mark Masters, the Interim Director of Flint River Water Planning&Police Center Projects.

It's soaked the top several layers of soil on most fields, but the aquifer that counts on rainfall over the winter months to recharge hasn't seen much improvement.

"We haven't seen the kind of recharge in my view that we're going to need to get us in shape for the up coming growing season," says Masters. 

That means we need to see more weeks like the last two. "We have been very lucky to get a few back to back."

To keep improving stream and river levels. "At the gauge were at 5,000 CSF, and we were below a thousand back then and those were in fact, record lows so when you kind of put that in perspective you're talking about 32 billion gallons of water flowing by in a day," says Masters.

Without enough rainfall, watering restrictions will likely continue through spring and summer, with possibly future restrictions dependant upon how severe the drought becomes. 

The Department of Environmental Protection must make their drought declaration for the year before March first.  In south Georgia, it's still expected to include watering restrictions.

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