Jackson County residents whose water comes from the Bear Creek Reservoir are now subject to restrictions on the use of outdoor water, including an odd-even schedule.
The Environmental Protection Division late last week finally gave the Upper Oconee Basin Water Authority — and its four member counties (Jackson, Barrow, Clarke and Oconee) permission to enter Level 1 of their drought management plan.
The plan outlines steps by which officials hope to reduce water usage by 2.5 percent over usage in July and August.
Basically, the major change is that the irrigation of lawns and landscapes — other than those recently installed — is relegated to the hours from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on an odd-even schedule based on address. At addresses ending in an odd number, irrigation may take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, while those ending in even numbers may water on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The authority and county restrictions would also apply to golf courses (except for the greens and tee boxes) and ball fields that were previously exempted. Since virtually all golf courses irrigate from ponds that is largely a moot point.