Governor’s Water Supply Program: Evaluating Round I
Manganiello, Christopher John
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In 2011, Governor Nathan Deal ordered the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) to convene a Water Supply Task Force to develop and implement the Governor’s Water Supply Program (GWSP). The primary goal of this paper will be to evaluate the GWSP: how the program was conceived; how it has been implemented; and thoughts for the future. The GWSP was designed to offer two forms of state backed financial assistance – direct state investment and loans – for projects that will provide “an adequate supply of clean and affordable water” for communities in need of “new water supply facilities,” according to the Governor’s January 2011 executive order. On August 1, 2012 GEFA and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) began disbursing $100M in GWSP awards to advance ten projects. These awards demonstrate how the first round of the GSWP was implemented and present an opportunity to evaluate if the GWSP’s goals have been met. A central question drives the analysis: did the GWSP meet the Governor’s promise and directive to provide new water supplies to communities in need? Finally, this paper will offer suggestions for how state funding and initiatives might provide a better investment of tax-payer dollars to meet future water supply needs. Economically and environmentally sustainable options exist and they can benefit Georgians and their neighbors.