$272.5 million investment helps communities cross finish line on vital water supply projects
In January 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal launched the Governor’s Water Supply Program (GWSP) to help local governments secure new water supply resources and to tackle the state’s key water supply challenges. The GWSP utilized $199.8 million in low-interest loans through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and $72.7 million in state direct investment (SDI) funding through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Since 2011, the GWSP has financed a variety of water supply projects, including reservoirs, water supply wells, deep aquifer well research, and agriculture irrigation metering.
The reservoir projects include:
- Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir,
- Richland Creek Reservoir,
- Russell Creek Reservoir,
- Indian Creek Reservoir,
- City of Auburn reservoir, and
- City of Cornelia reservoir.
When complete, the reservoirs will add nearly 27 billion gallons of storage in critical watersheds and more than 122 million gallons-per-day (MGD) of new water supply—the equivalent of the daily water demand for Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale Counties combined.
The cities of Hahira and Vienna, the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority, and Forsyth County constructed drinking water wells through the GWSP. The city of Tybee Island is exploring a deep well into the Cretaceous Aquifer, which is approximately 4,000 feet underground. This first-of-a-kind project in Georgia will help Tybee Island improve its capacity to meet future water demand, which is currently limited due to salt water intrusion in the Floridan aquifer along Georgia’s coast. The well projects will add a total 4.6 MGD of new water supply.
The GWSP is also helping the agriculture industry—Georgia’s number one industry—to explore the use of deep aquifers as an irrigation source for the multitude of crops grown in Southwest Georgia. Claiborne Aquifer test wells, including a test well at the Stripling Irrigation Research Park, have provided valuable data to assess the aquifer's use as an alternate source of water for agricultural irrigation. In addition to the aquifer test wells, the GWSP is funding agriculture irrigation metering to help manage the state’s water resources.
When the GWSP projects are finished, thousands of Georgians will benefit. And many thousands more will benefit as our state continues to grow.