AN ORDINANCE

NO. ____________


AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING WATER RESTRICTIONS AND ENFORCEMENT OF OUTDOOR WATER USE FOR LANDSCAPING PER THE GEORGIA WATER STEWARDSHIP LAW PURSUANT TO O.C.G.A. SECTION 12-5-7; AND CREATION OF A DROUGHT RESPONSE PROGRAM AND ENFORCEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE GEORGIA BOARD OF NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION (EPD) RULE 391-3-30 AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
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THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA HERBY ORDAINS:
WHEREAS, conservation of current water supplies and minimization of the effects of water supply shortages that are the result of drought are essential to the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Columbus, Georgia; and

WHEREAS, regulation of the time of certain water use, manner of certain water use, design of rates, method of application of water for certain uses, installation and use of water-saving devices, provide an effective and immediately available means of conserving water; and

WHEREAS, Pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 12-5-7, the General Assembly of the State of Georgia has required all municipalities in Georgia to adopt an ordinance to be effective no later than January 1, 2011 to allow outdoor water use between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and 10:00 A.M.;

WHEREAS, The Georgia Board of Natural Resources Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Rule 391-3-30 et seq. requires water suppliers to adopt and enforce drought response rules and regulations including pre-drought mitigation strategies and drought response strategies; and

WHEREAS, adoption and enforcement of the outdoor water requirements and comprehensive drought response program will allow the Board of Water Commissioners to delay or avoid implementing measures such as water rationing or more restrictive water use regulations pursuant to a declared water shortage emergency as authorized by Georgia EPD Rule 391-3-30 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Water Commissioners adopted a Drought Management Plan, which establishes a progressive program for responding to water supply limitations and State requirements resulting from drought conditions. This ordinance is intended to be consistent with and to implement the Board of Water Commissioners Drought Management Plan; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Water Commissioners Drought Management Plan contains four stages outlining actions to be taken to lessen or avoid supply shortages. This ordinance contains drought response levels that correspond with the Drought Management Plan; and

WHEREAS the outdoor water restrictions, drought response strategies and progressive restrictions on water use and method of use identified by this ordinance provide certainty to water users and enables the Board of Water Commissioners to control water use, provide water supplies, and plan and implement water response measures in a fair and orderly manner for the benefit of the public.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council of Columbus, Georgia does ordain as follows:

SECTION 1 - DECLARATION OF NECESSITY AND INTENT

1. This ordinance, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 12-5-7, establishes outdoor watering for the purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants may only occur between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and 10:00 A.M. during non-drought conditions; 2. This ordinance establishes regulations to be implemented during times of declared water shortages, or declared water shortage emergencies. It establishes three levels of response actions to be implemented in times of drought, with increasing restrictions on water use in response to worsening drought conditions and decreasing available supplies. 3. Non-Drought Condition (DRL-0) - Pre-drought mitigation strategies will be reinforced through the Water Stewardship O.C.G.A. 12-5-7 requirements. 4. Drought Response Level 1 (DRL-1) - Level 1 condition drought response measures are voluntary and will be reinforced through local and regional public education and awareness measures that may be funded in part by the Board of Water Commissioners. 5. Drought Response Level 2 (DRL-2) and Drought Response Level 3 (DRL-3) - During a Drought Response Level 2 condition or higher, the water conservation measures and water use restrictions established by this ordinance are mandatory and violations are subject to administrative penalties and remedies specified in this ordinance and as provided in the Board of Water Commissioners administrative rules. SECTION 2 - DEFINITIONS 1. "Affected drought area" means any area subject to a drought declaration made in accordance with Rule 391-3-30-.05. 2. "Director" means the Director, or his/her designee, of the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources. 3. "Division" means the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources. 4. "Drip irrigation" means the use of an irrigation system manufactured and sold specifically for delivering water through small flexible pipes and emitters slowly and directly to the soil around the base of individual plants in a manner that minimizes evaporative losses, pooling, runoff and wetting of plant foliage. This type of system may be part of a larger automated irrigation system or may operate as a stand-alone system connected to a typical outdoor faucet. 5. "Farm uses" means irrigation of any land used for general farming, forage, aquaculture, pasture, turf production, orchards, or tree and ornamental nurseries; or provisions of water supply for farm animals, poultry farming, or any other activity conducted in the course of a farming operation. Farm uses shall also include the processing of perishable agricultural products. 6. "Permittee" is defined as: (a) Any person that holds a water withdrawal permit issued by the Director pursuant to the Georgia Water Quality Control Act, O.C.G.A. 12-5-20 et seq.; (b) Any person that holds a water withdrawal permit issued by the Director pursuant to the Groundwater Use Act, O.C.G.A. 12-5-90 et seq.; or (c) Any person that holds a permit issued by the Director pursuant to the Georgia Safe Drinking Water Act, O.C.G.A. 12-5-170 et seq., that uses water obtained from any person meeting the criteria in paragraphs (a) or (b); (d) Permittee does not include any person that holds a water withdrawal permit for farm uses. 7. "Public water system" means a system for the provision to the public of piped water for human consumption. 8. "Soaker hose" means a hose that is connected to a typical outdoor faucet and that is manufactured and sold specifically for delivering water slowly and directly to the soil around the base of individual plants by allowing water to seep from it in a manner that minimizes evaporative losses, pooling, runoff and wetting of plant foliage.

SECTION 3 - APPLICATION 1. The provisions of this ordinance apply to any person and the use of any water provided by the Board of Water Commissioners in Muscogee County. 2. This ordinance is intended solely to further the conservation of water. It is not intended to implement any provision of federal, state, or local statutes, ordinances, or regulations relating to protection of water quality or control of drainage or runoff. 3. Nothing in this ordinance is intended to affect or limit the ability of the Board of Water Commissioners to declare and respond to an emergency, including an emergency that affects the ability of the Board of Water Commissioners to supply water. 4. The provisions of this ordinance do not apply to use of water from private wells or to recycled water.

SECTION 4 - DROUGHT INDICATORS AND TRIGGERS

1. The Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Director shall monitor climatic indicators and water supply conditions as needed to assess drought occurrence and severity, and its impact upon the ability of permittees that are public water systems to provide adequate supplies of water and avoid or relieve local water shortages. 2. Permittees that are public water systems shall notify the Division in writing within seven (7) days if a trigger level in the drought contingency plan required by Rules 391-3-2-.04(11) (d) or 391-3-6-.07(4)(b)9 is surpassed. The notification shall include the relevant drought condition(s) or event(s) such as streamflow levels, ground water levels, reservoir storage or levels, system demands, and/or other approved indicator(s) which required the notification. 3. The Board of Water Commissioners will monitor the following potential drought trigger and report to the Division if this potential indicator is surpassed: 4. Prior to making a drought response level declaration pursuant to Rule 391-3-30-.05, except for Non-Drought Condition (DRL-0), the EPD Director shall convene a conference call, or similar communication medium, for all permittees for whom climatic indicators and water supply conditions are such that the Director is considering making a drought declaration. Within three business days of the Director's communication, potentially affected permittees may submit information to the Division regarding climatic indicators and/or their water supply conditions. For permittees whose principal source of water supply is surface water, they may submit a water supply and demand analysis as described in Rule 391-3-30-.08(1)(b). 5. During a declared drought pursuant to Rule 391-3-30-.05, the EPD Director shall convene a conference call, or similar communication medium, at least quarterly for all permittees subject to Drought Response Strategies in the affected drought area(s). The purpose of this communication will be to review the latest climatic indicators and water supply conditions as they relate to the permittees.



SECTION 5 - DROUGHT DECLARATION 1. Based upon an evaluation in accordance with Rule 391-3-30-.04, the EPD Director may declare non-drought conditions and various drought response levels for the affected drought area(s). Such declaration shall be based upon the severity of drought conditions and their impact on the ability of permittees that are public water systems to provide adequate supplies of water within the affected drought area(s) and avoid or relieve local water shortages. 2. The EPD Director may declare non-drought conditions (Level 0) and drought response Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3, with Level 1 being the least severe and Level 3 being the most severe drought response level. 3. The EPD Director shall designate the geographical boundary of the affected drought area(s). The geographical delineation of a drought response level shall be based upon the severity of climatic indicators and condition of water supplies occurring within all or a portion of defined hydrologic units, counties or other areas. 4. The EPD Director may differentiate between surface water drought and ground water drought in any affected drought area(s). 5. Upon declaring a drought response level, including non-drought conditions, the EPD Director shall provide notice of such declaration to all permittees and the general public within the affected drought area(s). At a minimum, the Director shall issue a press release and send each affected permittee a letter which shall include the drought response level and a summary of the requirements for that particular drought response level.

SECTION 6 – NON-DROUGHT (DRL-0) / PRE-DROUGHT MITIGATION STRATEGIES 1. During non-drought periods, irrigation outdoors for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants shall be in accordance with the Water Stewardship Rules O.C.G.A. 12-5-7(a.1) (1) and (2). 2. Persons may irrigate outdoors daily for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants only between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. 3. These requirements shall not create any limitation upon the following outdoor water uses: 4. Enforcement of the pre-drought DRL-0 requirements shall be in accordance with this ordinance.

SECTION 7 - DROUGHT RESPONSE LEVEL 1 (DRL-1) – DROUGHT ADVISORY

1. Within five (5) days of receipt of notice from the EPD Division of a drought response level declared, each permittee within an area subject to a drought response level declaration shall implement the applicable drought response strategies. 2. DRL-1 condition is also referred to as a “Drought Advisory” condition. Permittees that are public water systems shall implement a public information campaign that shall include, at a minimum, public notice regarding drought conditions and drought specific public-service messages in one or more of the following ways: newspaper advertisements, bill insert, website homepage, social media and notices in public libraries. 3. During a DRL-1 Drought Advisor condition, the Board of Water Commissioners will increase its public education and outreach efforts to emphasize public awareness of the need to implement water conservation practices

SECTION 8 - DROUGHT RESPONSE LEVEL 2 (DRL-2) – MANDATORY RESTRICTIONS 1. General Outdoor Watering. Outdoor irrigation for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants, as described in Rule 391-3-30-.03(1)(a), shall be limited to two days a week on an odd-even schedule. Even numbered addresses may irrigate on Wednesday and Saturday between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. Odd numbered addresses may irrigate on Thursday and Sunday between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m. "Even numbered address" means an address number ending with the number 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, or the site does not have a numbered address. "Odd numbered address" means an address ending with the number 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9. 2. Specific Categories of Outdoor Water Use. The outdoor water uses listed in Rule 391-3-30-.03(1)(b) shall be allowed. The following outdoor water uses shall not be allowed, except as provided below: 3. Permittees that are public water systems shall implement four, or more, additional practices from the Drought Response Strategies Menu as outlined in 391-3-30-.07 Section 5. 4. The Board of Water Commissioners of Columbus shall implement the following drought response strategies in conjunction with a DRL-2 declaration:
SECTION 9 - DROUGHT RESPONSE LEVEL 3 (DRL-3) – EMERGENCY DROUGHT
1. General Outdoor Watering. Outdoor irrigation for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants, as described in Rule 391-3-30-.03(1)(a) is not permitted. 2. Specific Categories of Outdoor Water Use. The outdoor water uses listed in Rule 391-3-30-.03(1)(b) shall be allowed, subject to the following additional requirements. 3. The outdoor water uses listed in Rule 391-3-30-.03(1)(b) shall be allowed, subject to the following additional requirements. 4. The drought response levels identified in this Ordinance correspond with the Board of Water Commissioners Drought Management Plan as identified in the following Columbus table:
SECTION 10 – PROFESSIONAL EXEMPTIONS The following commercial outdoor water uses are exempt from the Outdoor Water Use restrictions of this ordinance:

SECTION 11 - ENFORCEMENT VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES

SECTION 12 – CONFLICTS

All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent or conflicting with any part of this Ordinance, are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency or conflict.










Introduced at a regular meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia, held on the ____ day of __________, 20__ and adopted at said meeting by the affirmative vote of _____ members of the Council.



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TINY B. WASHINGTON, CLERK TERESA PIKE TOMLINSON, MAYOR