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Monday, July 27, 2009 - 10:17am

No Concern Over Higher North Georgia Water Use

The end of water restrictions in north Georgia brought the expected uptick of usage for several counties in the region. But officials are not yet concerned.

It was early June when Governor Sonny Perdue announced the drought was over and lifted statewide watering restrictions. At that time he said he trusted that communities would keep a conservation mindset. But Perdue also promised to monitor usage in north Georgia, where local governments had all met their 10 percent reductions during the drought.

Perdue’s office says some water providers now report jumps in usage...others have stayed level...but nothing of worry.

In Barrow County for example, officials say there was a spike of 35-percent in water use in June. Myron Garrett, director of the county’s water authority, says some of its water surge may have to do with the economy:

"Mostly where we've seen the increases have been in the upscale subdivisions and probably with folks that are really wanting to really sell their homes and they want to have nice green grass so the house appears more."

Garrett also points out higher water use during summer is expected.

Barrow County along with neighboring Jackson and Oconee counties draw water from the Bear Creek Reservoir. All three counties saw a jump in water use.