2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 9 - FLINT RIVER DROUGHT PROTECTION
§ 12-5-541 - Legislative intent
. Legislative intent
(a) The General Assembly declares its intent and the public policy of this state that the state plans, regulates, and controls the withdrawal and the use of the waters of the state under the laws of Georgia to protect the public health, safety, and welfare; and the granting of any water withdrawal permit allows the permittee to use the water solely for the stated purposes described in the permit so long as such use is consistent with the public welfare of the state and upon such conditions as the state may prescribe. This declaration of intent shall also apply to all aspects of this article.
(b) The General Assembly finds that the use of water resources for the state for agricultural purposes is of vital importance to Georgia and southwest Georgia in particular; the protection of the Flint River flow is necessary for a healthy riverine ecosystem and a healthy population of aquatic life; the use of water resources during drought conditions may interfere with public and private rights; the economic well-being of the State of Georgia is dependent on a strong and efficient agricultural industry; the wise use of water, the protection of stream flow, and the economic well-being of the state will be furthered by proper water allocation in periods of drought; and a program providing incentives to ensure that certain irrigated lands are temporarily not irrigated during severe droughts will promote the wise use of water resources, the protection of stream flows, and the economic well-being of the state.
(c) The General Assembly declares its intent to fund the execution of the public policy set forth in subsection (b) of this Code section by and through the authority with appropriated funds for the purposes of this article, grants, and other sources of revenue. The General Assembly intends for the total maximum balance of the unexpended drought protection funds during any fiscal year not to exceed $30 million. In the event the total balance of unexpended drought protection funds at the end of a fiscal year is less than $5 million, it is the intent of the General Assembly that the total balance of unexpended drought protection funds be replenished to at least $10 million at the earliest possible time. Appropriation of funds for inclusion in and as part of the drought protection funds shall be deemed consistent with this declaration of legislative intent.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer