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Water-use certificate required for watering

CONYERS - Laying new sod or creating new landscaping for a business or subdivision usually requires a strong back and plenty of sweat. This year, however, the state has added a new burden.

Due to the continuing drought conditions, anyone installing new landscaping will now also need a certificate to show they understand responsible water use.

The Outdoor Water Use Registration Program was enacted when the Georgia Environmental Protection Division revised the state's watering restrictions under a Level 4 drought. The program is run through the Georgia Urban Agriculture Council.

People required to register for the

program must view a presentation on responsible water use and pass a quiz before they can obtain a certificate allowing them to install new landscaping.

People can go to their county Extension Office to view the presentation and take the quiz in person for free, or pay $5 and do both online at www.urbanagcouncil.com.

Some retail garden centers may also offer options in the stores to complete the program.

The program is called WaterSmart and includes a slide show presentation on five areas: watering efficiently, putting the right plants in the right places, mulch, organic matter to soil and collection of water from air conditioning condensate and rain water.

The presentation and quiz cover basic water conservation methods, such as early morning or night are the best times to water as a way to reduce evaporation.

For more information, go to www.urbanagcouncil.com or call the Rockdale County Cooperative Extension office at 770-785-5952. The office is located at 1400 Parker Road, Lobby A, Conyers.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.