State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008GA184B
Title: A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Mandatory Drought Responses in Georgia
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: 5
Focus Categories: Drought, Conservation, Law, Institutions, and Policy
Keywords: drought, water conservation, performance,
Principal Investigators: Cozzens, Susan E.; Park, Hyun Jung (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Federal Funds: $ 18,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 37,373
Abstract: Due to the enormous rainfall deficits, the entire state of Georgia has been very thirsty in 2007. Especially, across the north Georgia the drought conditions are extreme. Lake and stream levels are far below average levels and surface soil moisture deficits have also become worse, which would impose substantial negative environmental impacts, social hardships, and economic losses. To deal with this extreme drought, the state of Georgia Governor declared a "Drought Emergency" and imposed mandatory water restrictions and conservation practices. All non-farm water permit holders in the 61 North Georgia counties covered under the Level 4 drought designation are required to reduce water use by 10 percent against the baseline monthly average. This Georgia mandatory water-use reduction of permit holders is exceptional in terms of the strictness and scope of the enforcement. Also, he Georgia Governor announced another executive order to reduce water consumption by 10 to 15 percent at state owned facilities. This project will evaluate the performance of these mandatory drought responses in Georgia and identify key influential factors which determine the level of performance of conservation.

The objective of this project is to improve performances of water conservation and effectiveness of drought responses by providing useful information and policy options in developing a comprehensive guideline for water conservation and drought management. This project will answer the following questions:

Most information will be analyzed with statistical models. The level of performance (reduction percent or amount of water consumption) will be a dependent variable and a variety of independent variables will be considered. GIS will be utilized to distinguish the different performance of each district and analyze the different performance-associated factors. The information from the intensive interviews will be analyzed in a qualitative framework. All the results are summed up in a project report.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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