Even with recent rainfall, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is out with a reminder of the outdoor watering restrictions for 12 counties in north Georgia.
In northeast Georgia, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Lumpkin and White counties remain under a Level 2 Drought Response.
Jac Capp, chief of the EPD Watershed Protection Branch said it's because of those counties' reliance on the struggling Lake Lanier.
"Lake Lanier has a very small drainage area relative to how large that lake is, and we just haven't had the rains that we've needed in that area of north Georgia to get the lake to come close to filling back up."
As of Friday afternoon, the lake remained roughly 8 feet below its full level. While the recent rain has helped some, Capp said it's going to take a lot more of it.
"I think in terms of Lake Lanier, we're going to need a sustained period of time with above average rainfall."
The level 2 response means outdoor landscape watering is allowed only two days a week, determined by odd and even-numbered addresses. Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m., according to EPD. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m.
This week's reminder comes with warmer months ahead.
"...it is not unusual during a drought for Lanier to drop six feet or more over the summer, it is critical that metro Atlantans follow a Level 2 Drought Response, which allows reasonable outdoor water use while still saving water," EPD Director Richard Dunn said in a news release.
Capp said warmer months also mean homeowners will turn irrigation systems back on, another reason for the reminder.
While Level 2 does restrict when and what residents can use water for outside, a Level 3 Drought Response, the next step up, prohibits outdoor watering for general landscape purposes.
"We're not going to get into using a crystal ball to think about when and if that (Level 3 Drought Response) will happen. We're not there today, and so there's no imminent plans for that to happen," Capp said.
Other counties included in the current level 2 response are; Cobb, Coweta, Dekalb, Douglas, Fulton and Paulding. It's been in place since last November, upgraded from a level 1 response issued last September.