The role of the Lower Flint-Ochlockonee Councils is to prepare a regional plan (aka, Water Development and Conservation Plan), which will include resource assessments, estimates of current and future water needs, and those management practices necessary to meet the region’s needs within the capabilities of the resources.
Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) will provide the Lower Flint-Ochlockonee Council with the results of Water Resource Assessments that model how much water is available from the water resources on which the region relies. Assessments will also estimate the capacity of the surface water resources to assimulate pollution.
In addition to the Water Resource Assessments, the Council will also use 10-, 20-, 30-, and 40-year water and wastewater demand forecasts for the region to 1) understand the likely changes the region will experience; and 2) identify any "gaps" that may exist between the capabilities of the resources as articulated by the Assessments and the future regional needs.
In the event "gaps" between available water and future (or current) demands are identified, the Council will determine which water and land use management practices should be employed to ensure there is sufficient water and assimilative capacity to meet future needs. EPD will use computer models to test the ability of the recommended practices to close any identified "gaps."
The Lower Flint-Ochlockonee water planning region borders other regions or shares surface or groundwater resources with other regions; therefore, the Lower Flint-Ochlockonee Council will communicate and coordinate with adjacent, upstream and/or downstream councils as well as EPD to ensure the appropriateness of the recommended management practices.
EPD and the Lower Flint-Ochlockonee Council will use an iterative process of recommendation and modeling, to arrive at a set of management practices to meet the Region’s future needs.
The Lower Flint-Ochlockonee Council will submit a draft Regional Plan to the Director of EPD, who will adopt the plan or suggest changes so that it can be adopted. The Regional Plan is to be finalized and adopted by June 30, 2011.
After the Regional Plan is adopted, all EPD permits and Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) grants and loans for water projects will be guided by the Plan.