City officials are asking for the public’s help conserving water because of worsening drought conditions.

Wednesday, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division declared a statewide Level Two drought response, which will require a stricter outdoor watering schedule.

Under the new schedule, people living at odd-numbered addresses may water from midnight to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and residents of even-numbered addresses may water during the same hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Previously, the state was under a Level One response which allowed watering from midnight to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to midnight.

In a press release, EPD Director Carol A. Couch said every area of Georgia has been in a “persistent and progressive drought condition” since last June, and the agency wants to take steps to prepare for the summer months.

Couch said she expected to confer with the state Drought Response committee again in a month and would issue revised drought response declarations as necessary. The next step, Level Three, would forbid outdoor watering altogether.

City of Tifton Utilities Director Russ Dorman said the city will be enforcing the new policy. Residents who don’t follow the schedule could be fined.

For more information about the outdoor water use schedules, check the EPD Web site at www.gaepd.org. More information on water conservation is available at the EPD water conservation site, www.conservewatergeorgia.net. Details on the drought can be found at www.georgiadrought.org.

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