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Water Conservation and Drought

Water and the many issues and concerns that surround it continue to swirl in political, agricultural and economic circles. When drought conditions hit, the value of water becomes even more urgently evident.

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences looks at the many prisms of water in all of its programs of teaching, research and Extension. Scientists measure it, predict it, protect it and study it. County Extension agents educate farmers, homeowners, 4-H'ers, community leaders and businesses through workshops, activities and projects. Professors also put students to work learning all they can about this irreplaceable resource.

Current resources:


Water and Drought News from CAES
October Climate

Despite tropical rains from Hurricane Nate, October was relatively dry in Georgia.

Author: Published 11/09/2017
Water Educators

Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission staffers become UGA Extension water educators.

Author: Published 09/27/2017
Rivers Alive Cleanup

Two cleanup dates scheduled this year are on Sept. 30 at Crooked River State Park in St. Marys, Georgia, and on Oct. 14 at the Still River Waterfront Park in Woodbine, Georgia.

Author: Published 09/06/2017

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Extension Weather Publications
Drought-Related Cattle Feeding Problems (SB 51) Published 11/18/2016

Drought does not develop overnight but progressively over time. Proper management during a drought period can make or break a producer's ability to stay in the cattle business. One main concern during a drought period is feeding and nutrition of the cow herd. Several problems could arise due to drought conditions. A good producer should stay alert for warning signs and avoid potentially damaging situations.

Drought Management Strategies for Beef Cattle (B 1323) Published 5/15/2017

Drought conditions are a yearly occurrence in Georgia and have been prolonged in several areas over the past several years. These conditions can have severe impacts on cattle, and every cattleman should have a plan in place to minimize the effects of drought on the farm's finances. This publication describes several management strategies for producers to consider during drought conditions.

Tips for Saving Water in the Landscape (C 1010) Published 2/23/2018

Research has shown that a landscape that has been carefully planned and installed and properly managed will be healthier, less prone to insects and diseases, and will require less irrigation. Georgia's landscape and turf industry and UGA Cooperative Extension are urging citizens to implement inexpensive and easy-to-perform landscape management practices that decrease the need for irrigation and/or lead to greater efficiency of irrigation when it is needed. This publication provides tips about planning, planting and maintaining the landscape to save water.

Rainwater Harvesting for System Designers and Contractors (B 1372) Published 2/23/2018

With recent droughts and increased emphasis on water conservation, rainwater harvesting (RWH) has become an important alternative source for outdoor irrigation. RWH is the collection of runoff from roofs during a rainfall event. The water is conveyed through a gutter system, filtered and stored in a tank for later use. In Georgia, non-potable harvested rainwater can be an alternative water supply for uses such as washing vehicles, landscape irrigation, livestock and wildlife watering, cooling towers and toilet flushing.

Managing Fish Ponds During Drought (SB 49) Published 2/23/2018

Dry weather tests pond design limits for water retention, watershed area and depth. Without adequate rainfall, ponds and the property around them lose value and the pond owner can lose the fish or have to spend substantial amounts of money for weed control or pond renovation. Over the past decade, drought conditions have been the normal weather pattern across the southeastern United States. Pond design and water management options should be considered each year to plan ahead for drought effects.

Anticipating Drought on Rainfed Farms in the Southeast (B 1403) Published 9/27/2017

Nobody wants drought, but it's been happening a lot in recent years in the Southeastern U.S. For farmers without irrigation, it may seem that little can be done besides accept what rain comes. However, by paying attention to forecasts and following general practices that help collect and retain moisture, risk can be reduced for all manner of future climate conditions. Here are some ideas for what can be done, centered around two practices: first, knowing what's in store; second, planning ahead.

Best Management Practices in the Landscape (C 873) Published 11/29/2016

Research has shown that if you properly select, install and maintain ornamental plant, you greatly increase their survival and performance in the landscape. Following BMPs (Best Management Practices) not only conserve moisture in the landscape but will assure overall health and vigor of the ornamental plants.

Centipedegrass Decline (C 1003) Published 8/2/2017

Centipedegrass is ideal for the homeowner who wants a lawn that needs little care. It can be established by either seed or vegetative parts and does not require much fertilizer. Compared to other lawn grasses, it is moderately resistant to insects and diseases. Although centipedegrass is a relatively low maintenance grass, proper management is still required.


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Water at UGA Blog
Regulations in California concerning Toilet-to-Tap Wastewater Recycling Posted by on Jan 29, 2018

We are hearing about water shortages in all parts of the country from the droughts in Georgia to the droughts in California and the drawdown of aquifers across the country.  In the January 2018 issue of the Onsite Installer magazine, there is a Rules and Regs update from across the...

Cold Weather and Frozen Pipes Posted by on Jan 29, 2018

How do you deal with frozen pipes?  Here is a story that provides some information on dealing with pipes after they freeze.  Hopefully we will not have any or much more freezing temperatures, but just in case here is a story from Onsite Installer magazine.

Freshwater in the Great Lakes Posted by on Jan 12, 2018

The Editor’s Blog from the Stormwater Magazine today discusses the freshwater in the Great Lakes and some facts about the lakes.  In the post, Janice discusses the presence of algae blooms, carp and wetlands.  I know there has been some discussion with UGA Extension Agents on algae blooms and harmful...


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UGA Extension Climate Blog
default avatar What is the Madden-Julian Oscillation and how it affects weather in the Southeast Posted by on Feb 23, 2018

The latest blog post on Climate.gov discusses a phenomenon called the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which is basically ab atmospheric wave pattern that moves along the equator from west to east, taking 30 to 60 days go all of the way around the globe. The MJO interacts with other weather patterns like...

default avatar Large California carrot farm makes move to Georgia Posted by on Feb 23, 2018

The Southeast Farm Press reported this week that a new carrot farming operation is coming to the Southeast. According to the story, “Carrots thrive in sandy, loamy soils in California. The same soil type is prevalent in south Georgia and Florida. The soil, combined with a climate of 75-degree to...

default avatar California citrus farmers fight freezing weather Posted by on Feb 22, 2018

While we’ve been suffering under May-like conditions in the East (if you can call this suffering), California has seen extremely cold temperatures, including frost in some areas that don’t often get it. So farmers have been busy running wind machines and other frost protection to keep their citrus fruit from...


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