Georgia Water Conservation by Alice Miller Keyes, GA EPD


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What is happening with Water Conservation in Georgia

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  • It is a water management tool and not just something to be implemented during drought.
  • Background (if needed, as a reminder to the Councils)
    Among other policies, the SWP defines a water quantity policy to manage the consumptive use of water with a defined system, such as a watershed or aquifer, so that sufficient amounts remain within a water system to allow all users opportunities to benefit from the values provided by the resources. (Section 7 – Water Quantity Policy)
    The SWP defines consumptive use as “the difference between the total amount of water withdrawn from a defined hydrologic system of surface water or groundwater and the total amount of the withdrawn water that is returned to that same hydrologic system over a specified period of time.” (Sec. 2 Definitions)
    Water use is consumptive when water is removed from a specified hydrologic system of surface water or groundwater and is not returned to that same system within a time frame that allows contemporary users and uses to avail themselves of the benefits of that quantity of water. (Section 7 – Water Quantity Policy)
    Three major categories of water quantity management practices to help manage consumptive use are also identified in the SWP. These include return management practices (i.e. centralized wastewater treatment and on-site sewage management) and supply management practices (i.e. water supply reservoirs and interbasin transfers.) and lastly, demand management practices (i.e. water conservation and water reuse),
    While water conservation alone is not expected to fully meet future water needs in Georgia, but is it recognized as effective and efficient way of meeting some needs for all water users in the state. (Policy 1 – Sec. 8)
    Water conservation is identified as priority water quantity management practice implemented to help meet water needs in all areas of the state, and will be practiced by all water use sectors. (Policy 3 – Section 7)
  • Consider printing and using as a handout.
  • Georgia Water Conservation by Alice Miller Keyes, GA EPD

    1. 1. Water Conservation in GeorgiaWater Conservation in Georgia 2010: A BIG YEAR2010: A BIG YEAR Alice Miller Keyes GA Environmental Protection Division Watershed Protection Branch
    2. 2. Water Conservation in Georgia  The beneficial reduction in water waste, water loss and water use  Many Benefits: – Protect river flows and aquifer levels – Extend the life of existing supplies – Demonstrate responsible use of shared waters The ultimate goal of water conservation is not to prevent water use, but to maximize each gallon of water used (WCIP 2010) The ultimate goal of water conservation is not to prevent water use, but to maximize each gallon of water used (WCIP 2010)
    3. 3. Extreme DroughtExtreme Drought
    4. 4.  The State Water Plan identifies WC as a priority water quantity management practice (SWP Sec. 7, Policy 3)  While WC is not expected to fully meet water needs, it is an effective and efficient practice for all water users (SWP Sec. 8, Policy 1) Statewide Water Management PlanStatewide Water Management Plan
    5. 5. Lake Lanier RulingLake Lanier Ruling  Judge Magnuson’s ruling – water supply was not originally authorized purpose of Lanier – Current supply use exceeds Army Corps authority – Restricts future water use (2012)  Governor’s Water Contingency Task Force
    6. 6. 2010 A Big Year! Lanier Ruling State Water Plan DROUGH T
    7. 7. 2010 – The Big Year for Conservation in Georgia Water Conservation Implementation Plan Water Stewardship Act of 2010 Regional planning for conservation priority
    8. 8. Water Conservation Implementation PlanWater Conservation Implementation Plan  The WCIP creates a common vision for water conservation  Called for through Executive Orders and Statewide Water Management Plan  Can be used by organizations, agencies, water user sectors, regional water planning councils and individual water users
    9. 9. WCIP  The WCIP is not regulation, but a resource for all Georgia water users.  Includes sector specific goals, benchmarks, practices, and implementation actions for: – Agricultural Water Use, – Electric Generation, – Golf Course Water Use, – Industrial and Commercial, – Landscape, – Public water providers, and – State agencies.
    10. 10. WCIP  The WCIP can be found through : or
    11. 11. Water Stewardship Act of 2010Water Stewardship Act of 2010  WSA was enacted by 2010 General Assembly  Reaffirms “the imminent need to create a culture of water conservation in the State of Georgia”  Based on recommendations of Water Contingency Task force and supported by details of the WCIP
    12. 12. Report available online : - What’s New Report available online : - What’s New WSA - Key ProvisionsWSA - Key Provisions 1) Requires state agencies to inventory and enhance policies and programs that encourage conservation. 2) Mandates medium and large public water systems to conduct annual water audits and follow leak abatement BMPs
    13. 13. Key Provisions of the WSA (cont)Key Provisions of the WSA (cont) 3) Revises state construction standards for buildings constructed after July 2012 – High efficiency plumbing fixtures (toilets, showerheads and urinals) – Sub-metering for multi-unit buildings – High efficiency cooling towers for commercial and industrial 4) Modifies authorities to restrict outdoor water use and establishes a schedule for outdoor irrigation 5) Calls for amendments to permitting system for farm water use
    14. 14. Regional Practices to Manage DemandRegional Practices to Manage Demand • The SWP identifies WC as a priority water quantity management practice • Each Council is expected to include demand management in their regional water plan
    15. 15. Regional Planning GuidanceRegional Planning Guidance • Guidance issued to Councils to: • Establish a common starting point for considering demand management practices • Ensure practices reflect current rules as well as amended rules expected following the SWP and the WSA, and • Provide flexibility to Councils to adapt practices to the specifics of each region
    16. 16. Regional Planning – A Tiered StructureRegional Planning – A Tiered Structure  Tier ONE practices – mandatory through rules or law (permittees)  Tier TWO practices – options addressed through rule (permittees)  Tier THREE practices – optional, basic (permittees and others)  Tier FOUR practices – beyond basic to help “close the gap” (permittees and others)
    17. 17. Regional Planning – A Tiered Structure (cont)Regional Planning – A Tiered Structure (cont)
    18. 18. Regional Conservation Assessment ProcessRegional Conservation Assessment Process  Practices are not limited to those in the Worksheets  Many Councils have begun evaluation  Guidance, not a prescriptive methodology – Councils and their Contractors should use tools available – Final process, inputs, outputs and results will be documented in a technical memorandum that supplements the regional plans Available onlineAvailable online under Technical Guidance/Regionalunder Technical Guidance/Regional Planning GuidancePlanning Guidance
    19. 19. 2010 – 2011 – Another Big Year?! Regional Water Planning Councils conservation assessments Metro North GA Water Planning District Updated practices Updated Rules for water conservation Water loss audits and assistance programs Education and Outreach
    20. 20. Metro Atlanta CommunitiesMetro Atlanta Communities  Amend MNGWPD plans to include add’t practices for counties affected by judge’s ruling  Add’t practices for 6 counties include:  Maintain a water conservation program – Dedicated staff – Dedicated Funding  Expedite the Goal for Reducing Non- Revenue Water  Multi-family toilet rebate program  Retrofit on Reconnect  Install meters with point of use leak detection  Require private fire lines to be metered
    21. 21. Metro Atlanta Communities (cont)Metro Atlanta Communities (cont)  Additional practices for all 15 counties in District – Water Waste Policy or Ordinance – WaterSense New Homes  Working on Metro Atlanta specific guidance on the outdoor portion.  Southface working as a License and Certification Provider.  Minimum program - incentivize this program.  Possibility to require all new single-family homes meet the WaterSense New Homes Criteria.
    22. 22. Upcoming Amended WC RulesUpcoming Amended WC Rules  Per the WSA and the SWP, DNR is to amend rules related to conservation and water loss.  Amended rules will likely be coordinated and include:  Progress toward water efficiency for water withdrawal permits (SWP)  Annually report information on water efficiency (SWP)  Annually submit water system audits (WSA)  Likely to occur in December or early 2011
    23. 23. Water Loss Control and AssistanceWater Loss Control and Assistance  New water loss control requirements: 1. Minimum standards for improving the efficiency of public water systems, and 2. Implementation of Best practices program:  Establishment of an infrastructure leakage index  A phased in approach to – conduct standardized annual water loss audits according to the IWA water audit method – Implement water loss detection programs  A technical assistance program to guide water systems water audits and loss progs
    24. 24. Education and OutreachEducation and Outreach t waterSmart is an education program designed to help residents statewide understand how to maintain their landscapes while using less water.
    25. 25. 1. Water efficiently 2. Put the “right” plants in the “right” places 3. Add organic matter 4. Mulch 5. Collect water from alternative sources 6. Know the rules WaterSmart TipsWaterSmart Tips
    26. 26.  Brochures and flyers  Video public service announcements  Homeowner workshop  Media Relations/Landscape Challenge  Drought in Georgia – a unit for 6th grade teachers  Upcoming “YardStick” for certifying waterSmart landscapes WaterSmart Tools
    27. 27. Thank You! Questions? Alice Miller Keyes Georgia EPD Watershed Protection Branch 912-262-3185