Reservoir levels are up after this week's wet weather but the county is keeping an eye on the lake as it makes slight revisions to its drought contingency plan.
The Randy Poynter reservoir is at 722.8 feet in elevation, or about 11 feet below full pool, as of Thursday, according to Lee Pope, Rockdale Water Resources Compliance and Technical Services Manager. That represents an increase of about 6 inches from last week and means the reservoir holds about 4.34 billion gallons or about 394 days worth of water.
RWR Director Dwight Wicks explained the revisions would tie specific reservoir levels as minimum criteria for each water conservation stage.
“With the drought intensifying across the state, especially in the southern and middle parts of Georgia, it is the thought of the management of RWR to revise the regional drought contingency plan,” Wicks said at the Tuesday evening Board of Commissioners work session.
Stage one – a water alert – could be implemented if the reservoir reached 8.35 feet below full pool, or about 72 percent capacity. This would include restricting outdoor lawn watering to Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays for odd-numbered addresses and Mondays, Wednesdays, Sundays for even-numbered and unnumbered addresses. This would also prohibit outdoor non-drip watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Stage two – a water emergency – could be implemented if the reservoir reaches 16.7 feet below full pool, or about 49 percent capacity. Stage two would prohibit lawn watering, ornamental fountains, and require businesses and industries to reduce their water use by 5 percent or face possible monetary penalties.
Stage three – a water crisis – could be triggered at 25 feet below full pool, or about 30 percent capacity. At this level, all outdoor watering of any kind would be banned and businesses and industries would be required to reduce their water use by 10 percent.
The state mandated in 2010 that all counties and municipalities have their own regional drought contingency plan.