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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
Record Highs

Drought expands in southern Georgia as Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah all record their warmest April on record.

Author: Published 05/10/2017
Turf Aerification

Core aerification can benefit lawns that suffered through last year's drought.

Author: Published 03/09/2017
Warm Winter Winds Down

February 2017 is Georgia thirteenth straight month of above normal temperatures.

Author: Published 03/09/2017

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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 12/3/2014

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 5/23/2017

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 5/23/2017

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 5/10/2017

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 6/19/2014

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
Soil, Hydrology and On-Site Waste Treatment Posted by on May 15, 2017

Last Monday (May 8, 2017), 25 Environmental Scientist with the Department of Public Health and from across Georgia arrived at the UGA CAES J. Phil Campbell REC to learn about Soils, Hydrology and On-Site Wastewater Treatment.  During the week long class, they learned about Soils and Water Movement, as well...

default avatar GA EPD Presses for Metro Atlanta Water Conservation to Combat Drought Posted by on May 11, 2017

On May 2, 2017, the Georgia EPD released a press release related to the current Drought conditions in North Georgia.  Below is a reprint of Press Release.  The link at the bottom at the press release and linked here  will take you to a website where you can find: Rules...

default avatar Drought Monitor May 9, 2017 Posted by on May 11, 2017

The following is copy from the latest release from the National Drought Mitigation Center: Within the announcement, there are a few links that will provide additional information.  These include: Crops in Drought U.S. Drought Monitor statistics Narrative of Drought                U.S. Drought Monitor for...


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UGA Extension Climate Blog
default avatar “Strange Tornado Paths: They Don’t Always Move in the Direction You’d Think” Posted by on May 27, 2017

Weather Underground has a short but interesting article this week on unusual paths taken by tornadoes.  It’s a great idea to keep in mind that tornadoes don’t always move from southwest to northeast, although in many areas that is the most common direction.  For example, the Atlanta tornado of March...

default avatar Drier week ahead Posted by on May 27, 2017

After last week’s heavy rains, farmers will be glad to get some relief this week in the form of lighter rainfalls.  Many parts of the Southeast will see less than half an inch of rain, which will give the soil a chance to dry out.  Last week’s rain gave everyone...

default avatar El Niño, La Niña and tornado frequency Posted by on May 26, 2017

As I pointed out in one of yesterday’s posts, this year is a very active one for tornadoes, and Georgia is leading the pack of all the states in the number that have been experienced so far.  Two questions might come to mind–does this mean we will set a new...


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