The results? From 2001 to 2005, per capita water use dropped 10 percent. And despite the fact that the multiyear drought ended two years ago and outdoor water restrictions have eased, water use in North Georgia is still roughly 10 percent lower than it was prior to the onset of the drought.
And, we’ve just begun. As we evaluate the effectiveness of the existing conservation measures in our plan, we will continue to look at other options to reduce demand and use water more efficiently.
Going forward, Georgia’s Water Stewardship Act of 2010 is one of the strongest water conservation legislation measures in the United States, according to American Rivers. Beginning in 2012, only high-efficiency toilets will be for sale in the state, and all public water utilities will be required to use a common methodology to account for real water loss, the first step in understanding how much water is lost due to leaks.
In the meantime, the largely untold story is that metro Atlanta is using less per person than ever of this precious resource. And, no matter the outcome of the litigation, metro Atlanta is committed to becoming best-in-class among metro areas nationwide for its stewardship of its water resources.
Kit Dunlap chairs the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District.