Environmental Considerations for Evaluating Interbasin Water Transfers in Georgia
Johnson, Nolton G.
Layman, Steven R.
Krachon, Cristin C.
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Maximizing water returns to river basins by managing interbasin transfers is one of several major objectives guiding the ongoing development of Georgia’s first Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Plan. Interbasin water transfers currently play a significant role in meeting water supply needs throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area. Continuing population growth across northern Georgia has heightened concern over the continuing use of interbasin transfers as a primary water management tool because of potentially negative environmental and economic impacts to the river basin of origin. This paper investigates the availability and quality of relevant environmental information for assessing the potential adverse environmental effects of interbasin transfers to river basins of origin in Georgia. Existing information describing environmental attributes of 14 sub-basins in seven river basins is compiled using GIS, and subbasins are ranked and analyzed with respect to natural resource values, common trends, data gaps, and its ability to support water planning efforts and decisions regarding interbasin transfers.