Water reallocation in Georgia: if not a market, then what?
Barmeyer, Wilson G.
MetadataShow full item record
There has been considerable debate over whether Georgia should create a market for water withdrawal permits. In areas where the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has imposed a moratorium on new withdrawal permits, a mechanism for water rights transfers could enable reallocation of water to higher valued uses. Water market proponents argue that under existing law Georgia lacks the tools to efficiently reallocate water and sustain continued economic growth. Opponents argue that a market is an inappropriate way for Georgia to introduce economic incentives into water management. But if not a water market, then what? This Paper presents a range of water reallocation mechanisms and argues that water supply solutions should be tailored to meet specific problems and objectives. Such an approach emphasizes the need for regional planning and management and a clearly developed interbasin transfer policy as part of the comprehensive statewide water management plan. Georgia would be best served by moving cautiously in introducing any new system for water rights transfers.