Are you up to the challenge? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Are you up to the challenge?

The Water Sense label on a faucet.  Faucets such as this one use less water. The Water Sense label on a faucet. Faucets such as this one use less water.
The 40 Gallon Challenge web site.  People can see tips on how to save water on the site. The 40 Gallon Challenge web site. People can see tips on how to save water on the site.
The Flint River flows rapidly through Downtown Albany.  The river is up a bit due to recent rains. The Flint River flows rapidly through Downtown Albany. The river is up a bit due to recent rains.
A water saving faucet available at Short and Paulk Supply Company in Albany. A water saving faucet available at Short and Paulk Supply Company in Albany.
Just a few of the water saving tips on the 40 Gallon Challenge web site.  More Georgians have signed up for the challenge than any other state. Just a few of the water saving tips on the 40 Gallon Challenge web site. More Georgians have signed up for the challenge than any other state.

After weeks of dry weather, the rains have returned to South Georgia.

But most of the area is still in drought and now the state has started a program to encourage people to conserve water.

In Southwest Georgia we usually take water for granted. The Flint is always flowing. In an average year, Georgia receives more than 50 trillion gallons of water in the form of rainfall.

But there's one important thing to remember about water, and James Morgan, the UGA Extension Agent for Dougherty County tells us what it is: "we only have a limited supply."

And since they're not making it anymore.

"We're going to have to have it for years and years to come," said Morgan.

Recently, the weather has been anything but average.

The water supply in South Georgia may seem limitless but two droughts within the last five years have shown us how even our water supply can be vulnerable if the rains don't come.

The droughts - and issues over the use of Lake Lanier - taught Georgia leaders a painful lesson, and it caused the state to take action by asking for your help. You can take what they call the 40 Gallon Challenge.

Morgan said, "it's a pledge to save 40 gallons of water per day."

With a click, you can see how you can get to your 40 gallon goal with a few simple steps. While many of these ideas are good for the short term, there are ways that you can save water for the long term as well. One way is to update some of the old plumbing around the house.

Jay Short of Short and Paulk Supply Company said, "several of the new toilets that are coming out have a dual flush valve, and that is a...you flush one way for solids, one way for liquids."

It can be a bit of an adjustment to do things like filling the bathtub to only half full or flushing the toilet a little differently, but it soon becomes old hat.

And some of these water saving devices might cost a little more in the short term, but in the long term: "a three to four dollar flapper or a valve to change out can make a big difference in your water bill, and your pocketbook."

And if enough people do it, the numbers will add up to a better future for everyone.

If you want to take the 40 gallon challenge you can go to their web site, which you can reach by clicking here.

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