All About the Mission - March 15
When I first came to Augusta in 2006, I heard a lot from our members about Georgia’s water wars. Many said that if we weren’t careful, Atlanta would put a “big straw in the Savannah River,” as in inter-basin water transfer.
Fast forward over 15 years and the State of Georgia has come a long way in water resource planning as we have in the Savannah-Upper Ogeechee Region. Subsequent to legislation that passed in 2007, there are 11 regional water councils in Georgia charged with developing respective plans for each region based on population growth, job growth, agriculture and a host of other variables that play a role in water needs and water quality of these regions.
Each council is comprised of legislative appointees and I have had the honor of serving on the Savannah-Upper Ogeechee Regional Water Council since its inception. Other familiar names from our region include Scott Williams with Cranston Engineering, Scott MacGregor with Oglethorpe Public Affairs, Suzanne Sharkey with Georgia Power, Chris McCorkle with McCorkle Nurseries and a host of many others representing 20 counties.
The councils across the state are very fortunate to have staffing provided by CDM Smith. At last week’s meeting held in Elberton, there was a lot to review as forecasting future water resource needs continue to change. The Council has also had the opportunity at this meeting and many others to hear from other water councils in the state so that there is a unified and collaborative approach to the entire State of Georgia’s water planning process.
If you are interested in a brief 2-page summary of this region’s water plan, it is easily accessible at Savannah-Upper Ogeechee Regional Water Plan | Georgia Water Planning. It’s worth a peek!