Photo by Ron Burkett
Lake Purdy at the height of the drought in early November.
After receiving roughly six inches of rain since the first of the year, the Birmingham Water Works Board has finally reduced the area-wide drought level from Stage 4 to Stage 2.
As of Monday, Jan. 23, Lake Purdy was at 54.6 percent, and while the area is still behind in overall rainfall totals, watering restrictions are now voluntary.
"The customers of BWW really listened to the messages to reduce their usage," assistant general manager Darryl Jones said in a release Tuesday.
With levels at one point reaching as low as 26.2 percent, getting Lake Purdy past half-full is a significant improvement, Jones said.
The area was put under the Stage 4 Extreme Drought Emergency on Nov. 4, and has remained at that level of the BWWB Drought Management Plan since that time.
“This is the time of year that customers typically use the least amount of water, especially for outdoor purposes," Jones said in the release. "Therefore, remaining at the Stage 4 phase of the DMP during this time of year is no longer an advantage as a water management strategy."
At Stage 2, customers are no longer subject to surcharges for using more than their average amount of water. Municipalities were also recommended to rescind their drought ordinances as well.
Even though the area has been reduced to Stage 2, BWWB officials said the drought is still considered active, but that they are hopeful the pattern of rain will continue throughout the late winter and spring.
For more, visit bwwb.org.