State officials are declaring a drought in much of Georgia, including all of the Atlanta area.
The level 1 drought response calls for a public information campaign to remind people to be careful about water use, but it does not actually call for water use restrictions.
The drought in Georgia and the South has developed quickly.
Georgia farmers have already felt its effects, and now the state is asking people in most counties to voluntarily reduce their water consumption.
“We were pretty close to normal rainfall up to the middle of the summer, and then August and September were extremely hot and dry across a large section of the state,” said Jac Capp, chief of the watershed protection branch of the state Environmental Protection Division.
The city of Griffin and Coweta County have already gotten permission from the state to step up their drought responses further and to institute stricter water rules like limiting outdoor watering.
Capp said he expects other places in metro Atlanta will ask to do the same in the next week or so if conditions don’t improve.