Implementation of the State Water Plan requires that Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) provide the regional water planning councils with a variety of technical assistance. This assistance includes resource assessments, forecasts and regional water planning guidance such as the Water Conservation Implementation Plan.
Regional Water Planning Guidance
The Regional Water Planning Guidance provides details for regional planning councils to use while preparing regional water plans. EPD may periodically update this document and/or issue supplemental guidance toensure the regional Water Planning Councils have the necessary information. Comments and/or suggestions regarding topics EPD might consider in implementing this guidance and/or in updating or supplementing this guidance may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Regional Water Planning Guidance" in the subject line.
Click here for a copy of the Regional Water Planning Guidance.
Water Conservation Implementation Plan
The State Water Plan calls for the creation of a water conservation implementation plan (WCIP).
The WCIP provides guidance to help Georgia’s seven major water use sectors effectively implement water conservation state-wide. The major water use sectors include: agricultural irrigation; electric generation; golf courses; industrial and commercial; landscape irrigation; domestic and non-industrial public uses; and state agencies. Each sector-specific chapter of the WCIP details water conservation goals, benchmarks, best practices and implementation actions designed to reduce water waste, water loss, and where necessary, water use. The ultimate goal of water conservation is to maximize the benefit from each gallon of water used. The WCIP provides guidance for how to achieve that.
The WCIP will be used to guide decisions related to water use and water management by:
- Educating water users about water conservation practices and the goals they can accomplish,
- Informing regional water plan preparation that will be overseen by regional water planning councils,
- Helping water use sectors collectively improve water use efficiency, and
- Informing DNR rule-making regarding water conservation requirements in permitting.
Click here for a copy of the WCIP.
The WCIP was developed with assistance and comments from many individuals. For a copy of the comments and responses incorporated into the WCIP, please click here.
Rules governing the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Regional Water Planning:
- 391-3-32-.01 Preparation of Regional Water Development and Conservation Plans
The purpose of Section 391-3-32-.01 is to provide minimum uniform statewide regulations for the preparation of Regional Water Development and Conservation Plans.
State Water Plan
Georgia’s future relies on the sustainable management and protection of the state’s limited water supplies. The 2004 Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Planning Act mandates the development of a state-wide water plan that supports a far-reaching vision for water resource management: "Georgia manages water resources in a sustainable manner to support the state’s economy, to protect public health and natural systems, and to enhance the quality of life for all citizens" (O.C.G.A. 12-5-522(a)).
Currently, state and federal statutes form the foundation for Georgia’s water management programs. The goals of the Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Planning Act are aligned with the collective goals of other statutes related to water resource management. Two goals that resonate throughout federal and state statutes can be summed up as:
- Protect public health and environmental quality; and
- Meet future needs while protecting aquifers, instream uses and downstream users.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), with oversight from the Georgia Water Council, was charged with developing the first Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Plan. A revised plan was provided to the Water Council in early December, 2007 and the final plan was presented to the General Assembly during the 2008 session. The plan was adopted by the General Assembly in January 2008.