Drought – Watering Rules – Current May, 2017

In 2015 the Georgia Department of Natural Resources issued permanent Drought Management Rules (see below). If drought worsens, the Director of EPD monitors drought severity and reports regularly if conditions might trigger further water restrictions. This insures that, if a drought becomes extreme, everyone is affected in the same way without a hodgepodge of rules from different water suppliers.

PERMANENT: Persons may irrigate outdoors daily for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants only from  4 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The following outdoor water use is allowed at all times (no limits on time of day):

(A) Commercial agricultural operations

(B) Capture and reuse of cooling system condensate or storm water in compliance with applicable local ordinances and state guidelines;

(C) Reuse of gray water in compliance with applicable local board of health regulations

(D) Use of reclaimed waste water by a designated user from a system permitted by the Environmental Protection Division of the department to provide reclaimed waste water;

(E) Irrigation of personal food gardens;

(F) Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf in landscapes, golf courses, or sports turf fields during installation and for a period of 30 days immediately following the date of installation;

(G) Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses;

(H) Handwatering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container;

(I) Use of water withdrawn from private water wells or surface water by an owner or operator of property if such well or surface water is on said property;

(J) Irrigation of horticultural crops held for sale, resale, or installation;

(K) Irrigation of athletic fields, golf courses, or public turf grass recreational areas;

(L) Installation, maintenance, or calibration of irrigation systems; or

(M) Hydroseeding.

Always check with your local water provider before assuming you can water your landscape.

Level 1 Rules

Level 2 Rules

Level 3 Rules

Metro Atlanta Drought Map

Georgia Drought Map

City and County Water Department Contact Information

Georgia EPD Watering Statute

  • Advertisement