Vulnerability and long-term sustainability of surface water In the State of Georgia
Rising demands for surface water for irrigated agriculture, domestic (municipal) consumption, and industry are forcing stiff competition over the allocation of Georgia's scarce surface water. Population continues to grow in Georgia, and as a result, over-use and pollution of the State’s surface water supplies are also taking a toll on the natural environment and pose increasing risks for many species of life. Accordingly, over the past five years, concern about the vulnerability and long-term sustainability of surface water has increased across the State. The surface water vulnerability includes water quantity and quality issues. Long-term sustainability means that enough water is available, with appropriate water resources planning and management, to support ecosystems and human populations over time, and that the supply of water is naturally replenished. This paper explores the issues of surface water vulnerability and how we can avoid surface water allocation crisis if appropriate policies and strategies are formulated and acted on. In order to avoid catastrophe over the long term, it is highly important to consider not only managing the State’s water resources better but also managing demand better.