The brief era of sacrifice in the face of reality is ending in Georgia.
Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has said folks can go ahead and start filling their swimming pools again, despite the continuation of an historic drought that makes the entire state abnormally dry, and much of it locked in "exceptional" drought. The move will increase water usage by about 10% this summer, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Swim, kids, swim," Perdue told his state, according to the Journal-Constitution, which noted that "The governor's decision comes even as the record-breaking drought continues to bear down on metro Atlanta and much of North Georgia."
Granted, there is still an element of sacrifice. Homeowners, swimming pool associations and other pool owners will only be able to fill pools between midnight and 10 a.m. to avoid heat evaporation, landscape watering will be limited to newly planted landscaping, and local jurisdictions can retain the old restrictions and must still meet a 10% reduction in water use standard set last year.
But this severe a drought is expected only once a century, and shows few signs of letting up. Lake Lanier, the source of drinking water for Atlanta as well as communities downstream in Florida and Alabama, is still the subject of conflict between the states, as it sits near its all-time low.
Perdue told the Journal-Constitution that "Georgians have done their part." Time will tell if he's right. Then again, if the drought persists, Perdue might just lead another prayer for rain.
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