GGIA responds to North Georgia drought declaration with tips, resources

September 14, 2016 -  By

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) declared a Level 1 Drought Response in 51 counties of North Georgia this week. Nearly all of the counties affected are experiencing persistent severe or extreme drought conditions, according to the Georgia EPD.

A Level 1 Drought Response requires local water utilities in the affected counties to begin a public information campaign to help citizens better understand drought’s impact on water supplies and the need for water conservation.

In response, the Georgia Green Industry Association, Georgia Urban Agriculture Council and Georgia Arborist Association released new web resources to help homeowners and businesses continue be good stewards of Georgia’s water resources.

The new site provides information explaining the current water use rules. It also details best management practices and tips on conserving water both inside and outside the home.

With regard to landscapes, Georgia law provides 30 days to water all newly installed plant materials to protect plant health. As fall approaches and temperatures cool, water requirements for plants and turf are reduced.

Fall is also the ideal time to plant shrubs, trees and other ornamentals, according to GGIA. The cooler weather allows plants to become established and grow their root systems before the return of spring and summer heat. Fall planting not only reduces plant stress, it saves water and is an effective way to kick-start water savings in the landscape. It’s also the ideal time to have irrigation systems checked and calibrated by a certified landscape professional.

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