Surface Water Availability

March 2010 Water Resource Assessments Available for Review

The Surface Water Availability assessment measures the amount of water that can be used from the rivers and lakes of Georgia without substantially altering the desired hydrologic flow regime and the opportunities for use of water supported by that flow regime. Together with the Groundwater Availability assessment, they form the "consumptive use assessment" described in the State Water Plan.

Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and its contractors are using the "River Basin Planning Tool," developed by the Georgia Water Resources Management Institute at Georgia Tech, to model flows in Georgia’s river systems. The River Basin Planning Tool allows EPD to convert existing data on the 14 river basins in Georgia into smaller planning units or sub-basins, and measure the quantity of water available for consumptive use in each sub-basin. Consumptive use refers to the amount of water used but not returned without undue delay from either surface water or groundwater.

Critical inputs for the model include: the desired flow of the river system, expected return of treated wastewater to the system, the desired water supply, and the desired reliability of the water supply.

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,, 404-463-1425.

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