Developing drought triggers and drought responses: An application in Georgia


Palmer, R.N., Kutzing, S.L., Steinemann, A.C.¬†2002.¬†Developing drought triggers and drought responses:¬† An application in Georgia. In Proceedings of the ASCE’s 2002 Conference on Water Resources Planning and Management. Roanoke, Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers.


The State of Georgia suffered one of its worst recorded droughts from 1998 through 2002, a drought that impacted many economic sectors including agricultural, hydropower, recreation, manufacturing, and municipal water supplies. This drought event encouraged the State of Georgia to embark on a statewide drought planning process to coordinate drought planning efforts throughout the state, to ensure that available water is used efficiently and to provide guidance on how drought planning can be accomplished.

This paper presents the results of a drought plan designed for the Atlanta Metropolitan Region (AMR). The paper discusses the processes used to generate the drought plan, the impacts of the drought on municipal water supplies, and a suggested set of drought actions. To compliment the plan, a computer model of the AMR was created to test a wide range of drought triggers, the appropriate management responses when the triggers are activated, and the impact of the triggers/responses on water supply reliability. The paper focuses on how the model was used to identify the most promising triggers and responses and how these results were incorporated into a regional drought management plan.