Agricultural Water Withdrawal Permits: A GIS-Based Permit Management System and Permit Mapping in Dougherty Plain
Hook, James E.
Blood, Elizabeth R.
McDowell, Robin John
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When agriculture was first brought under the permitting provisions of the Ground Water Use Act and the Water Quality Control Act in 1988, thousands of preexisting agricultural water users were grandfathered. As the State moved into a period of restrictions on withdrawals and began planning for future water users, Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) needed a new system for permit management and needed more information on existing users. UGA, NESPAL, J.W. Jones Ecological Research Center, EPD and farmers have worked together to produce a GIS-based permit management system and to map permitted withdrawal points and irrigation areas. The process began in the Dougherty Plain with the voluntary mapping effort of farmers and landowners. Over 80% of the 8692 Agricultural Withdrawal Permits in the 17 counties area have been identified and entered into the system. To date 768,000 irrigated acres have been identified there. The GIS permit mapping system has been incorporated into the Agricultural Permitting Unit of EPD.
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