EPD to curb water withdrawals

22 09 2008

 Ross Blair | Byran County News

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division will be cutting back on the amount of water that can be withdrawn by coastal Georgia, including all of Bryan County, from the upper Floridan aquifer beginning Jan. 1.

The EPD is imposing the cutbacks because of saltwater intrusion to the upper Floridan aquifer as more water is extracted.

Richmond Hill City Manager Mike Melton, who met with the EPD on Sept. 11, said the new ruling will mean, “351,000 gallons per day they’re going to take away from us.”

Melton also said there is no need to panic, because the cuts won’t limit the amount of water the city is using now. In addition, negotiations are underway in an attempt for Richmond Hill to pump water from the lower Floridan aquifer, which the city tapped into in 2006.

 

But Melton said these restrictions, if not counteracted, pose a threat for future water use plans. As outlined in the city’s recently drafted land use plan, future development plans show these water restrictions have the potential to halt development anywhere from five to 10 years from now.

Bryan County Administrator Phil Jones also met recently with EPD officials to discuss these upcoming restrictions. Although Jones said this also will not immediately impact the rest of the county, he too said it will harm future development if not addressed.

Bill Frechette with the EPD said the cutbacks are part of an ongoing effort to avoid potential saltwater intrusion and pointed to a saltwater intrusion act June, 2006.

Read on here.

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