ATLANTA - On Nov. 3, Governor Deal ordered a level two drought response. The deepening drought increased water restrictions across much of the state. The level 2 response is for 52 northern Georgia counties -- including all of metro Atlanta. Fifty-eight counties are under a level 1 drought response.
Bodies of water across the state are at dangerously low levels. At Lake Blue Ridge in North Georgia, large swaths of land are dry where lake water used to be. Docks are sitting on the ground and dog tracks are planted in the mud in a lake desperate for water.
Photos | Lake Blue Ridge in drought
Here is what you should know about Georgia's drought.
1. It's been months since the metro area got significant rain.
The last time the metro area had more than an inch of rain was on September 2, 2016. It rained 1.69 inches, according to the official gauge at the airport. On Sept. 18 it rained 0.71 inches and on Oct. 7 it rain 0.13.
Between March and October 2016, 20 inches of rain fell in Georgia. That's 13 inches below average.
2. The most severe stage is level three. It bans most outdoor watering.
Only restricted food watering, restricted field irrigation and use of reclaimed waste water for an approved use is permitted.
Additional water conservation information can be found at http://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation.
3. Unfixed leaks waste billions of gallons of water
Cities are under extra scrutiny for their response to reported water leaks that have gone unfixed. Just last year, the city of Atlanta lost more than 10 billion gallons of water, according to an audit obtained by 11Alive.
Subrina Beckham says the hydrant on her street has been gushing water for four days. She said she’s called city officials and has been told it would take 45 days to fix the problem. She said that’s unacceptable during the severe drought.
Watershed communications director Lillian Govus said she's glad they're getting calls from concerned residents.
“It shows that people care,” Govus said.
The department recently joined the Nextdoor app so that people in communities around the city can share their concerns directly. They have nine crews on standby reporting to every problem that develops because of the drought.
If you have a leaky spot that has not been fixed, take a picture and let us know. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.