Persistent dry conditions have prompted the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to declare
a Level 1 Drought Response in 53 counties. A Level 1 Drought Response declaration includes a public information
campaign by water utilities to help citizens better understand drought, its impact on water supplies
and the need for water conservation. It is possible that in the coming weeks or months, the EPD may
expand the Level 1 declaration or declare a Level 2 Drought Response, which includes watering restrictions.
In addition to the Drought Response levels, the outdoor water use schedule required under the Georgia
Water Stewardship Act of 2010 remains in place statewide. This schedule allows outdoor water use year-round
only between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.
Overall, the drought continues to result in very low streamflow into all of our reservoirs, which negatively
impacts our lake levels. The U.S. Drought Monitor (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu) demonstrates that
streamflow conditions have worsened during the last several weeks and the current weather forecast
for Georgia calls for dry conditions through December. With lower lake levels, it is important for individuals
with boats and other water-related equipment and facilities to stay alert to changing conditions. Additional
caution should be exercised when using boat ramps and boating on the lakes. Until significant rainfall
occurs in our watershed, the lake levels at both Oconee and Sinclair will continue to decline as we utilize
reservoir storage to provide the required downstream flows into the Oconee River.
We all need to do our part to conserve water. Georgia Power is managing limited water resources as efficiently
as we can for power generation, downstream flow requirements, license obligations and lake levels. We have
canceled winter drawdowns where possible in response to the drought, declined requests for non-essential
downstream flows and are coordinating our operations with federal, state and local water agencies.
We are asking each of you, as our lake stewardship partners, to take steps to conserve water at your
lake home or business. We are also asking you to limit any withdrawals from the lakes for outdoor watering.
The Georgia EPD has a wealth of water conservation tips on their website that will be helpful to you. For
information, visit http://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation.
Georgia Power will continue to closely monitor conditions on the lakes and carefully manage the
limited water resources. We post our updated lake levels each morning at www.georgiapowerlakes.com.
We will continue to communicate with you by our webpage, Facebook and email on state Drought
Response declarations, the conditions at our reservoirs and water conservation tips. Thank you for your
understanding and for doing your part to conserve water.