Low water in North Georgia could affect South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Low water in North Georgia could affect South Georgia

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August 8, 2002

Sparse rains and heavy water use is forcing some North Georgia towns to stop outdoor watering. Now, the Environmental Protection Division may tighten water use statewide. Fortunately here in southwest Georgia, our water supply is more abundant. But, Southwest Georgia could pay the price for North Georgia's depleting water supply.

At the Hand Wash and Detail Car Wash in Albany, water is a way of life. Charlie Reed who works at the car wash says, "Water is essential to our day to day operations. We cannot work without water." These men depend on water not just for life, but to make a living. And here in Albany, water supplies are so good, that should continue.

Water, Gas and Light spokesperson Lori Farkas says "Over the years totally dissipated good afternoon rain. Somehow this summer we've been getting lots of showers dropping lots of good water through the whole summer."

Healthy summer rains have taken care of our lawns and gardens, making it many times unnecessary to turn on the sprinkler. And, right now, Albany's water use is half of what is allowed. Farkas says, "We are pumping 18 million gallons a day, less than half of what we are allowed to pump by the state, so we are in a terrific place water wise."

But, even with abundant water supplies, North Georgia's water issues could effect Southwest Georgia. Across the northern two-thirds of the state, streams are running at or near record low levels. And, if the EPD decides to tighten statewide water restrictions, Albany and all of South Georgia will have to fall in line. Farkas says, "As long as the state mandates are in place we will observe them and we are in line exactly with what the state does."

In Albany, the even-odd outdoor water restrictions are still in place. On even numbered dates of the month, even numbered street addresses can water, and the same applies to odd numbered days and addresses.