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Conserving every drop

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POSTED: December 11, 2007 7:19 a.m.
Holidays, particularly Thanksgiving, remind many of us to give thanks for those things in our lives we routinely take for granted.  
Certainly, here on the coast, we should give thanks that we have had rain in the last few months. We still need rain, but we are not in the critical drought situation most of the state is experiencing.
During the last couple of weekends in Athens, we were constantly reminded how much every drop of water needed to be conserved. In the hotel, signs in the rooms asked that we use towels and sheets for more than a day if we could. Out-of-town visitors were encouraged to bring bottled water with them.
In restaurants, water is only served upon request and disposable plates were even used in the hotel buffet to reduce dishwashing. There was even talk that there would be ‘flush monitors’ in the restrooms at the Georgia football games, but, thankfully, I did not see any evidence of it. I actually could not figure out how that would work.
Water conservation has become serious business in North Georgia. Water conservation is the “beneficial reduction in water use, waste and loss.” It is proven to be the most economical and environmentally protective means of meeting the challenges of water supply management.
Water conservation activities could help us all save water, save time and save money year round. Let’s face it: we should all be practicing water conservation - no matter where we live in Georgia and all the time. Water conservation is good and essential for all of us.
Water conservation can reduce production costs and taxes. Georgia’s Clayton County Water Authority has saved $9 in reduced water production for every $1 invested in a water-conserving leak detection and repair program.
Water conservation can save water resources for future generations. As population boomed and groundwater withdrawals increased, causing saltwater contamination on the coast, the city of Savannah has reduced groundwater withdrawals by 3.8 million gallons a day through a water-conserving, toilet rebate, and educational program for city residents.
Public supply water withdrawal in Georgia has steadily increased over the past 20 years. The United States Geological Survey attributes this steady growth to statewide population growth. But many recent surveys from around the country indicate population and water withdrawals DO NOT have to follow parallel lines. In fact, many areas such as Los Angeles and New York have increased populations substantially without increasing water withdrawals.  
Water conservation can protect water quality and the environment. Increasing surface water withdrawals decreases streamflows. Lower streamflows are not able to assimilate, or wash away, waste and pollutants that threaten human and environmental health.
The Metro North Georgia Water Planning District’s 11 conservation measures were adopted, in part, to help ensure the streamflows needed to assimilate waste.
Water conservation can expand the life of existing supplies. The costs of developing new water sources are increasing annually.  We need to conserve every way we can.
We can all benefit from water conservation. It is a shame that we have to go through a drought to consider using our natural resources wisely. If you are convinced that it is time to ‘conserve every drop’, check out the web site www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net.  Most of the information in this article came from this helpful site that also provides loads of realistic tips (no ‘flush monitors’ discussed here) and creative ideas for conserving water as well as factual information on understanding drought conditions. Sure, be thankful for water and pray for rain, but take the next step and look for ways to conserve at home and at work every day.

Date to remember
November: Time for a 20-Minute Holiday Makeover! There is still time to take 20 minutes to clean up around your neighborhood, town, school campus and workplace in time for the holidays. If you need extra garbage bags or pick up for a group project, contact 368 4888 or klcb@libertycountyga.com

Contact information
For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact me at 368-4888 or klcb@libertycountyga.com
 

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