The systems that would have usually brought rain to Georgia passed to the north of the state, resulting in a fall that was even drier than usual for the driest time of year.

 More than 50 percent of the state received less than half its usual rainfall in September, October and November, causing stream flows to drop to near-record levels and expanding the areas affected by drought.

One of the differences between the current drought and the drought of 2007-2009 is the location of the areas affected by the drought.

In 2007, the center of the worst drought was in northern Georgia, where it affected cities like Atlanta and Athens.

 The extremely high temperatures associated with that fast-developing drought and concerns about water supply and water usage helped to raise public consciousness about the severity of the drought and generated increased media attention.

By comparison, the current drought has affected a smaller part of the state with less effect on water supplies.

 Local and state utility and water managers took the lessons from the 2007-2009 drought to heart and have managed their water supplies more carefully.

In addition, consumers have learned to use water more sparingly and demand has been lower in many water systems. The current drought has consequently impacted water supplies less severely than in the previous drought.

More of the state is being affected by drought now than at the worst periods of the 2007-2009 drought.

This drought has also been more persistent than the 2007-2009 drought, with parts of the state experiencing some level of drought for more than a year — versus nine months of continuous drought as seen in 2007-2009.

In the worst-hit areas, farmers have reported their farm ponds completely drying up — leaving nothing but cracked mud and fish bones behind — something they did not see in the 2007-2009 drought.

Groundwater levels in the lower Flint River basin are, in many cases, at or near record lows. Stream flows across the state have also been very low during the recent weeks except immediately after rain events.