Instream flow guidelines and protection of Georgia’s aquatic habitats
Davis, Mary M.
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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources protects environmental and economic conditions of river flows with instream flow requirements for surface water withdrawal permits. Instream flow guidelines are to be finalized by 2006. Studies of each major watershed are required for instream flow guidelines to be effective and protective. Declines in low flows in Georgia’s rivers indicate that these studies will need to examine effects of climate, current permitted surface water withdrawals, water management, as well as other site-specific conditions. Final instream flow guidelines will need to protect the range of natural water level fluctuations as water supply reservoir operations become more common in managing river flows and take into account effects of groundwater withdrawals.