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.