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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
May Showers

May showers help ease drought across the state.

Author: Published 06/06/2017
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

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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 7/11/2017

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 7/11/2017

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 7/11/2017

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
Drought Monitor Report for July 11, 2017 Posted by on Jul 13, 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 (Drought Map) Narrative of Drought     U.S. Drought Monitor for July 11, 2017:  ...

Seagulls, Landfills and Water Quality issues Posted by on Jul 11, 2017

Landfills are used to hold the waste materials w throw out everyday.  The garbage that arrives at landfills and is added to the pile contains putrescible waste that is also a food source for seagulls and other animals.  Landfill permits require daily cover to be placed on the new waste...

Solar Eclipse on the Horizon… Posted by on Jul 11, 2017

I realize that a Solar Eclipse has very little to nothing to do with water, but I thought this was something interesting that only happens every so often.  Pam Knox, Agricultural Climatologist at UGA, posted information about the 2017 Solar Eclipse and where will be the best spots to observe...


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UGA Extension Climate Blog
default avatar “Summer storms result in downed trees across Georgia” Posted by on Jul 21, 2017

Recent storm events have dropped trees in a number of places across the Southeast, including Georgia.  Some trees are snapped by high winds, and others are uprooted when saturated soils weakens the grip that the tree roots  have, resulting in trees that are tipped over by those winds.  Paul Pugliese,...

default avatar Earth continues to warm even without an El Niño Posted by on Jul 21, 2017

As part of their series of graphs of global average temperatures, NOAA produces this one below which shows the temperature anomalies by ENSO phase. As expected the graph shows that El Niño year (in red) tend to be the warmest because of the large expanse of above-normal sea surface temperatures...

default avatar Slight increase in dry conditions in Virginia Posted by on Jul 21, 2017

This week’s Drought Monitor shows no big changes in most of the Southeast, with just a small area of abnormally dry conditions remaining in eastern Georgia.  There was some expansion of abnormally dry conditions in Virginia in the northern part of our region, but no drought at this time. The...


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