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City to find ways to meet Perdues water demands
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Hear Channing Moss' speech to West Hall Middle School students on Nov. 2.
Gainesville City Council members will hear recommendations from the public utilities department on city water saving strategy this morning.

Kelly Randall, director of Gainesville’s Public Utilities Department, will present a list of recommendations on how the city can meet Gov. Sonny Perdue’s demand that North Georgia municipalities cut their water use by 10 percent.

City Manager Bryan Shuler said he and Randall will update the council on what Perdue is requiring.

Perdue’s 10 percent reduction is based on average daily water use from December 2006 to March 2007. The mandated 10 percent reduction is effective today.

"We want to review with the council what the requirement actually means ... in (terms of) water withdrawals," Shuler said. "It’s a pretty low number compared to what we would use in higher (usage) times."

Shuler said he and Randall would also talk to the council about voluntary conservation efforts, possible additional restrictions on water use and possible expansion of financial incentive programs for replacing pre-1992 plumbing.

"The key in all of this, at least to me, is it’s got to be a broad-based approach," Shuler said. "There’s not just one segment of our customer base that’s going to help us meet this mandate from the state."

Randall said he did not want to divulge too many details of the recommendations before he presented them to the council, but he said the list included nearly 15 recommendations for the council.

Horace Gee, environmental services administrator for the public utilities department, said the recommendations had come from within the public utilities department. Gee said an e-mail had been sent out to the entire public utilities department asking for ideas on how to reach the governor’s mandate.

Gee would not comment on the details of the list either, but Gee said the recommendations were up to the City Council to decide.

"I don’t know if they’ll think it’s enough," Gee said. "I know they’re not going to think it’s too much."

Gee said local landscapers may also attend the work session to share their views about the current water situation.

"I don’t know if it’s in protest or in agreement or one way or the other," Gee said. "It’s going to be a packed house."

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