Interbasin water transfer policy in Georgia: recommendations for change from the joint comprehensive water plan study committee
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While Georgia has provisions in place to address interbasin water transfers, there are concerns that these provisions will not be sufficient to meet future demands for interbasin transfers. Consequently, the Joint Comprehensive Water Plan Study Committee, created by the 2001 Georgia Assembly, charged the Interbasin Transfer Working Group with identifying and evaluating policy options relating to interbasin transfers. As a result of meetings held in 2002, the Working Group produced a report which set forth a series of options for policy changes for consideration by the Study Committee. The Study Committee, based on the Working Group’s report, made a series of recommendations for changes to Georgia’s interbasin transfer policy to the Governor and the General Assembly. These recommendations include: expansion of the definition of interbasin transfer to include groundwater, creation of a policy statement on interbasin transfers, determination of specific criteria, terms, and conditions for approval of interbasin transfer permits, setting a distance criterion for interbasin water transfers, expansion of the public notice provision, inclusion of an emergency drought provision, and the addition of a basinof- origin protection provision.