Winter rains have helped Georgia recover from a long drought, but not enough to lift state water-use restrictions in DeKalb and Fulton counties.

A state Environmental Protection Division map of water-use restriction levels due to drought, showing DeKalb and Fulton among 12 counties in the stricter “Level 2” area.

The state Environmental Protection Division placed water-use restrictions on 52 counties in November after more than 22 weeks without significant rainfall. EPD is now reducing some of those restrictions in many places, but DeKalb and Fulton are among 12 counties that remain under the “Level 2” water-use restrictions.

“Winter rains have brought needed relief to much of the state, but Lake Lanier, the Chattahoochee River and smaller streams in the region have been slow to recover,” said EPD Director Richard Dunn in a press release. “As a result, the Level 2 Drought Response will remain in place in the upper Chattahoochee River Basin, including most metropolitan Atlanta counties.”

Restricted but allowed outdoor water uses include:

  • Outdoor landscape watering is only allowed two days a week, determined by odd and even-numbered addresses. Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.
  • Irrigation of personal food gardens at any time of day.
  • Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed or turf may at any time of day for 30 days
    after installation.
  • Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses at any time of day, and hand-watering
    with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container may be done at any time of

Banned outdoor water uses include:

  • Washing hard surfaces, such as streets and sidewalks.
  • Water for ornamental purposes, such as fountains.
  • The use of fire hydrants, except for firefighting and public safety.
  • Non-commercial washing of vehicles.
  • Non-commercial pressure washing.
  • Fundraising car washes.

For more information, see

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.