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Regulatory Information for Georgia

The following Guide to Information and Resources for Georgia Agricultural Employers and Workers provides a comprehensive list of resources for agricultural employers and workers in Georgia.

Recent Directives for Water Conservation

Georgia’s leaders have heard the powerful messages about the promise of water conservation and are calling for action.  In an October 2003 (Executive Order ), Governor Sonny Perdue called all state agencies to develop water conservation plans for their facilities and operations.

The Georgia General Assembly passed the Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Planning Act in 2004, mandating EPD to create the first statewide water management plan. This act elaborates that, “Water resources are to be managed in a sustainable manner so that current and future generations have access to adequate supplies of quality water that support both human needs and natural systems” (O.C.G.A Section 12-5-522(b)(2)).

In 2001, the DNR Board adopted a series of policies, the Water Issues White Paper. This white paper included recommendations that the state, “Facilitate the integration of water conservation into all water resource planning initiatives…” (GA DNR 2001).

Furthermore, a statewide survey on water issues revealed that citizen respondents felt their number one constraint to saving water was the lack of state efforts to conserve and help them conserve.


Resources for Water Conservation Planning

Many entities at the state and local levels are actively pursuing water conservation initiatives. Sound scientific and economic advice exists to assist state and local governments, regional planners, and all water users conserve. EPD often refers to these experts in the field:

    • Georgia Water Wise Council - GWWC provides a variety of services, including a speakers bureau to address many planning subjects.
    • Pollution Prevention Assistance Division - P²AD provides guidance to industrial, institutional, commercial water users on efficient technologies available to help save water and money.
    • Department of Community Affairs - DCA provides WaterFirst initiative to provide recognition to localities that are actively implementing all water resource management plans, including water conservation requirements.
    • Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission - SWCC provides incentive programs to help agricultural water users conserve the use of Georgia's ground water and surface water.
    • University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - UGA College of Ag and Environmental Sciences conducts research and workshops on reducing agricultural and urban water uses. They also maintain a demonstration site in Mitchell County – the Stripling Irrigation Research Park.
    • The Georgia EPD has working with local farmers and citizens from the Lower Flint River Basin to create a Water Development and Conservation Plan. The Plan includes a comprehensive review of water development, conservation, and sustainable use. Using scientific information, promotes the conservation and reuse of water, intends to guard against a shortage of water, and promotes efficient use of the water resource. (O.C.G.A. 12-5-31). For more information, please go to http://www.gadnr.org/frbp/index.html
    • Coastal Georgia Water & Wastewater Permitting Plan for Managing Salt Water Intrusion was finalized in June 2006. This plan sets forth how EPD will conduct ground and surface water withdrawal permitting, and management and permitting of wastewater discharges.  It advances requirements for water conservation, water reclamation and reuse, and wastewater management.  Based on the findings of the Coastal Sound Science Initiative (CSSI), the Plan will guide EPD water resource management decisions and actions until superseded by the adoption of the General Assembly of a Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Plan in 2008.  For more information, go to http://www.gadnr.org/cws/.