Georgia has experienced a persistent drought for the last four years. While the drought conditions have subsided, the need for effective river basin planning continues. Effective water planning for our river basins will ensure adequate resource availability for the immediate future as well as over the long run.
Basin planning consists of four primary steps: 1) understanding current and future water demands, 2) understanding existing resources (water supply), 3) anticipating potential shortfalls and other issues that might arise from the discrepancies between supply and demand, and 4) devising policy solutions which adequately resolve items identified in step 3).
This report explores the available data for water demands and supplies across the seven river basins that make up the coastal region served by the Coastal Rivers Water Planning and Policy Center at Georgia Southern University. The permit issuing and water use reporting processes have made it difficult to accurately estimate water demand across the region. Moreover, the river data is sparse, sporadic, and insufficient to determine the unimpaired flows for any of our rivers. Our intent is to highlight the areas for future data collection such that our state policy makers may successfully establish river basin water use plans that ensure sustainable economic growth, with minimal environmental impacts. Working Paper # 2003-005