Georgia Feeling Effects of Drought

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by londonrain, May 25, 2007.

  1. not much better in South Carolina but no water restrictions here yet....

    ATLANTA (AP) - Neighbors are turning in neighbors for violating water restrictions, farmers are jittery about crops and churchgoers are praying for rain as Georgia suffers through one of its worst droughts in decades.

    Sweltering conditions are expected to intensify. State climatologist David Stooksbury this week classified 74 of the state's 159 counties as being in "extreme" drought - more than double the assessment he delivered just a few weeks ago.

    And he said he's doubtful conditions will improve any time soon, with little rain in the forecast.

    The drought has forced state officials to restrict when residents can water their lawns - limiting it to early mornings on alternating days. Some cities, including Atlanta, have gone a step further, ordering residents to water lawns, wash cars and restrict other outdoor use to one day a week.

    In the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, police are giving residents the option to call 24 hours a day to report water-use violations.

    "We are neither encouraging or not encouraging calls. It's up to them," said Julie Brechbill, a Roswell spokeswoman. "Our main concern is that our residents follow the restrictions because we're in a drought."

    In Columbia County east of Augusta, officials get five to 10 calls a day from neighbors reporting neighbors for water violations. Sick of people ignoring the rules, the county is disconnecting the water for violators, with nearly 50 households disconnected in recent weeks.

    "It's like any rule or law: If you don't enforce it, than no one abides by it," said Margaret Doss, the water quality manager in Columbia County. "These are our customers and we hate to punish them. But on the other hand, the drought is significant and it has to be handled properly."

    In rural areas, farmers worried about whether they should plant their crops are also facing a massive shortfall of hay, a key part of Georgia's $50 billion agriculture industry.

    Bone-dry fields can't sustain enough grass to make hay. There's hardly a bale of hay to be found in Tifton and other Georgia towns.

    "I don't know what I'm going to do," said Derrick Jones, a Tifton farmer who this week could only scrape up enough bales of hay from his property to feed his 300 head of cattle for a day or two. "My only other option is to sell. That's not a good option, but it may be what we have to do."

    Larry Crumley, a farmer in nearby Berrien County, is hoping to use a bin of unused rye seed to feed his 200 cattle. "It's down to that," he sighed. "We've bought all the hay we can buy, and it will last until Monday."

    The lack of rain has given some residents a reason to ask for divine intervention. A group of churches in Moultrie, a south Georgia town, has started a weekly prayer service on Wednesdays to ask for rain.

    "The community needed to come together and feel like you're doing something," said Rhonda Royals, a secretary who attended the first meeting Wednesday. "And the only thing you can do is pray - and pray hard."

    ---
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070525/D8PBH8JG4.html
    On The Net:

    University of Georgia's drought site: http://www.georgiadrought.org
     
  2. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    Yeah it sucks. In middle GA, they just went to Phase 2 of the water restrictions... we are only able to water on the weekends. Needless to say, my own watering system is set to water 3 days a week at 4AM!! No way I am going to lose my yard. Supposedly the fine is $300 for the first violation and $500 for the second. I have yet to see what the effect is on the irrigation side of my business since this new Phase 2 went into effect today.
     
  3. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    It's amazing how fast it can change. You'd have thought last year into winter that N TX was in a permanent drought. I wouldn't be surprised if our lakes are in flood stage in another week or two.
     
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    And to think that people have made fun of CA's "water police" for years.
     
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    "Big Yellow Taxi"

    by Joni Mitchell

    They paved paradise,
    And put up a parking lot.
    With a pink hotel, a boutique
    and a swinging hot spot.

    Don't it always seem to go,
    That you don't know what you've got,
    Till it's gone.
    They paved paradise,
    And put up a parking lot.

    They took all the trees,
    And put them in a tree museum.
    And they charged all the people,
    A dollar and a half to see 'em.

    Don't it always seem to go,
    That you don't know what you've got,
    Till it's gone.
    They paved paradise,
    And put up a parking lot.

    Hey farmer farmer,
    Put away that D.D.T. now.
    Give me spots on my apples,
    But leave me the birds and the bees,
    Please!

    Don't it always seem to go,
    That you don't know what you've got,
    Till it's gone.
    They paved paradise,
    And put up a parking lot.

    Late last night,
    I heard the screen door slam.
    And a big yellow taxi,
    Took away my old man.

    Don't it always seem to go,
    That you don't know what you've got,
    Till it's gone.
    They paved paradise,
    And put up a parking lot.
     
  6. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

     
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    lol... scared to flame me if isn't a forum consensus?

    If there really was a problem... I would be concerned. We have a 600 acre resevoir that hasn't even been touched. We all should adjust our lives and work patterns before they change the level on their lake... god forbid some fish die.

    I am tired of the gov't breathing down my neck every second. They tax the hell out of us, now they are going to take work away from me... so I will water my yard whenever the f#$^ I want to... I have spent 20k just in materials on my front yard... so I am pretty sure it will get watered whenever the hell I feel like it.

    Got my ranting out of the way!
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    There are different levels of water concerns. I remember drought restrictions in north Jersey that got to a point where they were allotting fifty gallons per day per person in a house, and lawn sprinkling was long forgotten. Overreacting? Probably. But their supply was really getting low.

    As long as one's utility connections are subject to being yanked, I believe extreme water misbehavior is unlikely. The only green lawn in the area will call attention to itself, and appropriate action can be taken. If the water department was on its toes, they'd introduce drought pricing, and make a green lawn a ridiculous luxury.
     
  9. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I agree with Pigtails, it bothers me as well. We were in drought conditions and restrictions a few years ago. I turned a few people in that were breaking the rules. Did I like the rules/ no, I didn't. But they are in place for a reason. In 2002 Colorado Springs Utilities went to restrictions of 3 days a week, It was either later that year or the next, They went to 2 days a week. The restrictions were lifted in 2005 or 2006. Now, just about every surrounding water district has restrictions in place, but CSU doesn't. I believe they should since most everybody got used to it. We need to be proactive, not reactive to the situation. I think that you bragging about watering when ever you want is completely careless, classless, and lame. There, I flamed you without the consensus.

    I have customers that have wells no longer consistently reach the water. It's not just the above ground reservoirs that can be low, the below ground aquifers and water tables that we can't see are changing as well.

    I have also thought about getting out of this business just due to what the he!! we are doing. Wasting all this water on keeping grass green. What a joke, honestly. Many people in this world struggle for clean water every day. And we waste it like it's nothing. I'm hoping my next career choice is more environmentally conscious.
     
  10. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    My frustration on this issue is that irrigators and landscapers have a tremendous effect on how water is used. I try and educate every customer as well as I can. I have customers who try to get me to set their clocks to violate city watering restrictions and I refuse to do it followed with an attempt to shame them for trying to cheat. I am a strong supporter of the rights of the individual but that most be balanced in the use of our natural resources with the greater good. If I had to vote for green lawns or fish. I'd vote for the fish. Unless we want more water police we need to follow the public consensus and if we disagree with it we should try and get support to change it. Whether you like the codes or not cheating isn't the solution.
     

Share This Page