Environment, Science

Georgia Drought Improves, But Lake Lanier Is Still Low

The banks of Lake Lanier are exposed at Gainesville's Longwood Park in March 2017.
The banks of Lake Lanier are exposed at Gainesville's Longwood Park in March 2017.
Credit Molly Samuel / WABE
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At the beginning of the year, most of Georgia was in drought. Now, less than a third of the state is drier than usual.

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But there are still water use rules in place in metro Atlanta, even though the drought has improved dramatically.

“We are looking better,” Jac Capp, chief of the water branch of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, said. But, “Lake Lanier, which is the primary source of drinking water for much of the metro Atlanta area  either from the lake directly, or from releases from the lake  the lake is still 6 1/2 feet below fill pool.”

Until the lake level looks better and streams flowing into the lake are higher, restrictions will likely stick around, including on lawn watering, car washing, and ornamental fountains.

“We’re not short on water by any stretch of the imagination,” Capp said. “We still feel like it makes sense to have some additional conservation measures in place, to insure that our water sources are protected and secure.”