The Groundwater Availability assessment provides information on the ability of water from aquifers in Georgia to meet current and future needs. Together with the Surface Water Availability Assessment, they form the "consumptive use assessment" described in the State Water Plan.
There is a lack of evidence to suggest that increased water use will cause unacceptable impacts to some aquifers. Therefore, Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) prioritized the aquifers for Groundwater Availability assessment based on the current condition of an aquifer and expected future demands on that aquifer.
For the prioritized aquifers, EPD, with contractor support, developed groundwater budget models, essentially input and output balances, to determine sustainable yields (the amount of water that can be withdrawn without creating an unacceptable impact such as dropping aquifer level, salt-water intrusion, or significantly lowered surface water).
For the other aquifers, benchmarks are being established to indicate the potential for unacceptable impacts from future withdrawals. Management of these aquifers will focus on monitoring of aquifer response, and the response of other connected water resources, to future increases in withdrawal.
In January and February 2010, EPD conducted Joint Meetings of the Regional Water Planning Councils to: 1) deliver the preliminary results of the draft baseline resource assessments to the regional water planning councils; and, 2) provide representatives of each council with the first opportunity to exchange information with representatives of the other councils with whom they share water resources.
The results of the March 2010 Current Water Resource Assessments are available for review here. Detailed technical reports are being completed for each March 2010 water resource assessment. These reports provide background information on methods, data, and modeling techniques. Background data sets, such as the list of facilities used in the current assessments, are also available. To receive any of the technical reports completed to date or other available background data, please contact Suzanne Desmond, email@example.com, 404-463-1425.