Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson announced details of the Reservoir Development and Drought Relief Act which will be introduced in the legislature this upcoming session.
“As we have all witnessed during this drought, it is critically important to increase our water supply in order to avoid crises like the one we are in today. By partnering with local governments and water authorities and cutting through some of the red tape that comes with reservoir development, we are confident we can capture more rainfall and meet the water needs of our state,” Cagle said.
“The extreme drought situation we are in now reinforces the fact that we must do a better job planning for the future and prevent our current situation from repeating itself,” Richardson said.
Said Sen. Chip Pearson: “The current drought situation underscores our need for enhanced water storage and I look forward to working with members of the legislature to meet Georgia’s future water needs.”
The legislation will focus on making the state of Georgia a partner with local governments and water authorities in enhancing our state’s water storage capacity.
Under the bill, communities can apply for funding to enlarge existing reservoirs and obtain permits to construct new ones.
Additionally, the bill will make the state a true partner with local communities to secure federal permits necessary to build reservoirs by offering a one-stop shop for all of the state components of a federal reservoir application.
The bill will tighten deadlines for the EPD for making a final determination of permit application packages for federal purposes as well as approving state permits.
The legislation will be carried in the Senate by Sen. Pearson and in the House by Rep. Mike Coan.