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Monday May 4th, 2015 11:22PM

As drought worsens, Atlanta bans weekday outdoor watering

By The Associated Press
<p>Faced with an epic and worsening drought, Atlanta officials on Thursday banned residents from outdoor water use during the weekdays.</p><p>The city's Department of Watershed Management limited residents of Atlanta, south Fulton County and Sandy Springs to watering their lawns, washing their cars and other outdoor water uses on weekends only.</p><p>"Until we get a significant amount of rain, they'll be in place," Janet Ward, a department spokeswoman, said of the restrictions.</p><p>Under the new rules, even-numbered addresses can water between midnight and 10 a.m. on Saturday and odd-numbered addresses during the same hours on Sunday.</p><p>The restrictions come as Georgia continues to slip deeper into its worst drought in decades. This week, climatologist David Stooksbury categorized 74 of the state's 159 counties as in "extreme" drought _ more than double the assessment a few weeks ago.</p><p>The drought is also categorized as "severe" in 79 counties and "moderate" in only six.</p><p>Atlanta's move goes a step beyond state limits adopted in April.</p><p>After a dry fall and winter, the state Environmental Protection Division declared a "level two" drought, which triggered statewide restrictions.</p><p>That means residents with odd-numbered addresses may water only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between midnight and 10 a.m. Those with even-numbered and unnumbered addresses may water only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays between midnight and 10 a.m.</p><p>The restrictions do not apply to many commercial outdoor uses, including landscaping, car wash operators and construction sites.</p>
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