The Georgia 2010 Legislature passed the Georgia Water Stewardship Act, a water conservation plan based on recommendations from the Governor’s Water Contingency Task Force. A majority of the Act’s provisions take effect in July 2012 and coincide with a federal court order requiring that Georgia reach a water-sharing agreement with Alabama and Florida by July 2012 or face significant reduced withdrawals from Lake Lanier. The water conservation measures include:
- By August 2010, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division (EPD) must examine its programs and identify opportunities for water conservation.
- Beginning in 2011, outdoor watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Farms, personal food gardens, nurseries, golf courses, and athletic fields are exempt from this provision.
- By 2012, public water systems serving at least 10,000 individuals, and by 2013, all other public water systems, must conduct a water loss audit applying EPD’s minimum standards and best practices.
- By July 2012, builders will have to use high-efficiency plumbing fixtures in all new construction and “submetering” to measure water use.
The Act also creates a 12-member committee to investigate opportunities to create additional water supplies, including reservoirs.
INFO: Contact Alice Miller-Keyes at 912-262-3185.