Today is World Water Day. The United Nations General Assembly designated the 22nd of March each year as the World Day for Water. This week the metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and more than 40 public, private and non-profit organizations in metro Atlanta gathered Tuesday night to talk about what they are doing to address water resources and scarcity on an international, national and regional scale.
“Metro Atlanta is an epicenter of public, private and non-profit groups working on water on a local, national and global scale,” said Sam A. Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. “This is a particularly timely event as Georgia develops its first-ever Comprehensive Statewide Water Plan due in July. We are working in partnership with the state’s Environmental Protection Division to develop a fact-based state water plan that ensures that metro Atlanta can continue to grow in a sustainable way.”
World Water Day is being celebrated across the globe and will focus on “Coping with Water Scarcity: Every Drop Counts.” Organizations and businesses such as CARE, the Coca-Cola Company, the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Global Safe Water, CIFAL Atlanta (a division of the United Nations), the Rotary Club of Atlanta, and others are actively involved in promoting safe water internationally. Yet almost 1.1 billion people worldwide live without adequate access to water and 2.4 billion without adequate sanitation.
City of Sandy Springs officials have issued a press release responding, “As we celebrate the day, we should remember that there are water restrictions in the State of Georgia and therefore in Sandy Springs. The “Water Stewardship Act” went into effect on January 1, 2011, and it requires local governments to adopt certain restrictions and exemptions to outdoor water such as:
- Commercial agricultural operations as defined in O.C.G.A. § 1-3-3;
- Capture and reuse of cooling system condensate or storm water in compliance with applicable City regulations and state guidelines;
- Reuse of gray water in compliance with O.C.G.A. § 31-3-5.2 and applicable Fulton County Board of Health regulations adopted pursuant thereto;
- Use of reclaimed waste water by a designated user from a system permitted by the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to provide reclaimed waste water; Irrigation of personal food gardens;
- Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed or turf in landscapes, golf courses, or sports turf fields during installation and for a period of thirty (30) days immediately following the date of installation;
- Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses;
- Hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container;
- Use of water withdrawn from private water wells or surface water by an owner or operator of property if such well or surface water is on said property;
- Irrigation of horticultural crops held for sale, resale or installation;
- Irrigation of athletic fields, golf courses or public turf grass recreational areas;
- Installation, maintenance or calibration of irrigation systems; or
- Hydro seeding”.
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