Integrated water resources management in North Georgia implications of wastewater management policy
Sample, David J.
Bocarro, Robert A.
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Water management in the southeast, and particularly in Georgia, has become increasingly more complex due to rapid population growth, dwindling water supplies, water quality and instream flow concerns, and allocation disputes with neighboring states. The Georgia state legislature responded with two key initiatives: SB 130, passed in 2001, which formed the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (MNGWPD), and HB 237, passed in 2004, which requires the development of a Comprehensive Statewide Water Plan (CSWP). In 2003, the MNGWPD adopted wastewater management, watershed protection, and water supply and conservation plans that will guide water resources in metropolitan Atlanta for the next 30 years. Implementation costs of the MNGWPD water and wastewater plans through 2030 has been estimated to total $60B. To conserve financial resources and encourage a sustainable development pattern, it is necessary to prioritize these investments, i.e., focus investments upon areas have the ability to increase population density due to the proximity of existing services. Currently, growth management policies in some jurisdictions encourage septic system development, increasing overall wastewater treatment costs and interfering with water management goals.