Is there an outdoor water restriction in Valdosta, or isn't there? The city and the newspaper seem confused about that. Also remember much of Lowndes County gets its water indirectly from Valdosta through the county's utility system. And that with groundwater levels at all-time lows, we need to be conserving all the time anyway, and thinking about how much and what kind of growth we want.
The City of Valdosta front page says:
In the SpotlightThe City of Valdosta has issued an outdoor water restriction suspending all outdoor water uses for 72-hours, or until further notice. Click here for more.
Yet if you click there, you get this error page:
Error The page you have requested does not exist. Please click here to go back to the home page.
Similarly, there was a VDT article on that subject, but that link also goes nowhere now.
Stephen Abel wrote for WALB yesterday, Temporary water restrictions in effect for Valdosta,
Folks in Valdosta need to think twice about washing their cars, or doing anything else that uses much water, this weekend.
"The city of Valdosta is urging all citizens to immediately cease outdoor irrigation use and all other nonessential uses of water. Now and throughout the weekend," said Public Information Officer Sementha Mathews.
Severe vibrations in the water pumps is what put them out of commission. "The city's water treatment plant experienced some mechanical issues this week with two of its raw water well pumps which caused the low levels in water," said Mathews.
So, did the city fix its pumps? Or is it just confused about what to do?
WCTV posted this update, and seemed to indicate the water restrictions were still in place:
The City of Valdosta sincerely thanks the citizens who responded quickly to its request today to cease all outdoor irrigation and non-essential use of water. Currently, there are no water quality issues in the system, and the water provided by the city is safe for all purposes.
People should be conserving all the time anyway. These suggestions from the city are pretty good for a start:
City officials have a few water saving tips for the public. "Shortening the use of your shower. Maybe instead of using the dishwasher, hand wash your dishes. Just anything nonessential. Turning off the water while your brushing your teeth," said Mathews.
All that, and why do you need a large lawn that needs watering anyway? How about a garden? Or native plants that live on rain?
There are already some water restrictions in place:
New year-round statewide restrictions that went into effect last year allow watering every day but only between 4pm and 10am.
Local governments can put stricter rules in place anytime.
Meanwhile, it's worth remembering that Valdosta's original water was artesian: it bubbled out of the ground. The current Valdosta wells out at Bemiss are 800 feet deep. That's an indication of how much water we've used out of the Floridan aquifer. It does recharge, but not as fast we use it. Most of the water down there that we're using has been there since the last ice age.
Right now, groundwater levels all across south Georgia are red, as in very much below normal.
It's time for us to ask, as Ben Copeland did a year ago in Lake Park,
“How much growth do we want?”
If we want water for ourselves and our posterity, that would be a good question to ask.