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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
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
Upper Floridan Aquifer

Researchers using multi-faceted approach to study the sustainability of the Upper Floridan Aquifer, water reserves for Florida and south Georgia.

Author: Published 08/29/2017
Return to Summer

Standard summer temperatures returned to Georgia in July.

Author: Published 08/03/2017

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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 9/13/2017

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 9/13/2017

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 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
default avatar Being a Sewer Hero………..What should you Flush and what should you not Flush. Posted by on Sep 20, 2017

What should you flush and what should you not flush?  UGA Water Resources Team shows kids and adults at the 8th Annual Athens-Clarke County Water Festival.

Epsilon Sigma Phi Public Issues Webinar Series: Water in the 21st Century Posted by on Sep 14, 2017

Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) is sponsoring a series of webinars related to Water in the 21st Century.  ESP is one of the oldest organizations of Extension Professionals. It’s mission is to foster standards of excellence in the Extension System and to develop the Extension profession and professional. Since Epsilon Sigma Phi was established in 1927, members have worked to strengthen the impact of the Extension System’s ability to address needs of individuals and communities through research based education.

Information for Pre- and Post- Hurricane Preparedness Posted by on Sep 9, 2017

As Hurricane Irma approaches and leaves, here are a few ideas on where to find updated information about the hurricane and some information on recovering from the storm.

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UGA Extension Climate Blog
default avatar Short hurricane update 9-20-2017 Posted by on Sep 20, 2017

For those of you watching all of the activity in the tropics, here is a short update for you.  Thankfully, it is short because for most of us in the Southeast there is not a lot to worry about, although of course we are devastated at the destruction that is...

default avatar SERCH: Fall newsletter now available Posted by on Sep 20, 2017

The Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH) has published their fall newsletter online. You can visit it at to read about impacts from Irma and Harvey as well as learn about some upcoming meetings in the region.

default avatar “Yields and Land Use in Agriculture” website Posted by on Sep 20, 2017

Our World in Data has a fascinating look at global production of many different crops at their website You can use the information to see how yields in different crops have changed over time or see how production varies from one country to another. While it does not break down...

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