Following a fall of light rain and a summer of hotter-than-average conditions, Lake Varner is full (701 feet above sea level) as of Thursday, Feb. 16.
The news comes in the midst of water restrictions that have been imposed in Newton County and the state of Georgia for months.
Despite the condition of Newton County’s reservoir, though, Level 2 Drought Response conditions are still in effect.
Those conditions, which include limited landscape watering, prohibited washing of hard services, non-commercial washing of vehicles, fundraiser car washes and non-commercial pressure washing, are controlled by the state’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD).
The EPD is expected to provide an update on conditions sometime this week. That update will provide information on the anticipated spring and summer rainfall. Newton County Water Resources Director James Brown said Lake Varner is ready for the upcoming season.
“We are ahead of schedule and in great shape heading into the spring (the rainy) season,” Brown said.
According to Brown, Newton County has received more than 10 inches of rain since December. Also in that time period, more than two billion gallons of water has been pumped into Lake Varner.
At one point Lake Varner was 11.6 feet below full-pool. Newton County was placed under a Level 1 Drought Response in September and a Level 2 Drought Response in September.