2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 8 - COMPREHENSIVE STATE-WIDE WATER MANAGEMENT PLANNING
§ 12-5-522 - Policy statement for comprehensive state-wide water management plan; guiding principles; requirements of plan; regional plans; compliance with plans
. Policy statement for comprehensive state-wide water management plan; guiding principles; requirements of plan; regional plans; compliance with plans
(a) The division shall develop and propose a comprehensive state-wide water management plan not inconsistent with this chapter and in accordance with the following policy statement: "Georgia manages water resources in a sustainable manner to support the state's economy, to protect public health and natural systems, and to enhance the quality of life for all citizens."
(b) The following principles shall guide the work of the division in developing a comprehensive state-wide water management plan:
(1) Effective water resources management protects public health and the safety and welfare of Georgia's citizens;
(2) Water resources are to be managed in a sustainable manner so that current and future generations have access to adequate supplies of quality water that support both human needs and natural systems;
(3) All citizens have a stewardship responsibility to conserve and protect the water resources of Georgia;
(4) Water resources management efforts must have a sound scientific foundation and recognize that economic prosperity and environmental quality are interdependent;
(5) Water quality and quantity and surface and ground water are interrelated and require integrated planning as well as reasonable and efficient use;
(6) A comprehensive and accessible data base must be developed to provide sound scientific and economic information upon which effective water resources management decisions can be based;
(7) Water resources management encourages local and regional innovation, implementation, adaptability, and responsibility for watershed and river basin management;
(8) Sound water resources management involves meaningful participation, coordination, and cooperation among interested and affected stakeholders and citizens as well as all levels of governmental and other entities managing or utilizing water; and
(9) Periodic revisions of the comprehensive state-wide water management plan may be required to accommodate new scientific and policy insights as well as changing social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors.
(c) The proposed comprehensive state-wide water management plan shall set forth state-wide water policies not inconsistent with this chapter which shall guide river basin and aquifer management plans, regional water planning efforts, and local water plans.
(d) The proposed comprehensive state-wide water management plan may include a process for creating draft river basin management plans and draft ground-water management plans and how such plans are finalized and revised, including the designation of persons responsible for developing regional water development and conservation plans, required contents of such plans, and how the public may participate in the creation and revision of such plans.
(e) The division shall make all water withdrawal permitting decisions in accordance with this chapter, the comprehensive state-wide water management plan that has been approved or enacted by the General Assembly as provided by this article, and any applicable regional water development and conservation plan, including, but not limited to, restrictions, if any, on diversion from or reduction of flows in other watercourses. Any political subdivision or local water authority that is not in compliance with the plan shall be ineligible for state grants or loans for water projects, except for those projects designed to bring such political subdivision or local water authority into compliance with the plan.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer