The Environmental Protection Division of Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources recently released a draft Water Conservation Implementation Plan for the State of Georgia. The draft plan is available for review and comment at www.GeorgiaWCIP.org, and the EPD will accept comments through January 31, 2009.
The Plan was created pursuant to language contained within the February 2008 Statewide Water Management Plan and, as suggested by its name, this recent plan expressly promotes conservation and best practices within Georgia.
The Plan is divided into separate chapters, with each addressing and providing guidance for the major water use sectors in Georgia: agricultural irrigation, electric generation, golf course maintenance, industrial and commercial water use, landscape irrigation, domestic and non-industrial public uses, and water use and regulation by state agencies. The Plan suggests long-term goals, provides benchmarks to measure efficiency, and provides a collection of best practices, each tailored to the individual sector.
For example, the Plan states that thermoelectric power plants withdrew approximately 2.8 billion gallons of water per day in 2007, making electric generation the largest user of water in the state. Accordingly, the Plan encourages state agencies and electric utilities work together to “develop tools for evaluating the relationship between water conservation and electric generation” going so far as to suggest that utilities “consider conducting pilot projects to help quantify the energy and water conservation relationship.” As support for such a proposal, the Plan cites a December 2006 U.S. Department of Energy report which concludes that “[p]roperly quantifying and valuing energy and water resources will enable the public and private sectors to better balance the energy and water needs of all users and develop strategies and approaches to enhance future energy security and sustainability.”
For more information on the impact of the Statewide Water Management Plan, Water Conservation Implementation Plan, or the plan’s impact on you or your business, please contact a member of SGR’s Sustainability Practice Group.