Gov. Nathan Deal has approved the final report of the Water Supply Task Force, which outlines water supply initiatives and recommendations for the Governor's Water Supply Program. The final report, which is available at www.GeorgiaWaterSupply.org, was approved by the WSTF this month.
"I appreciate the work of the Water Supply Task Force in developing this plan to improve Georgia's water supply resources," said Deal. "The state, local governments and our citizens share a mutual interest in making sure Georgia has an adequate and sustainable water supply for the future."
Through the GWSP, the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs will allocate $300 million over the next four years to support water supply projects. The GWSP will support local government projects and will tailor its financing to meet the unique needs of individual projects. Eligible projects include new reservoirs, expanding existing reservoirs, system interconnections, wells, water supply planning, indirect potable reuse, and aquifer storage and recovery.
To aid the launch of the GWSP, Deal instructed GEFA and DCA to open the GWSP in January with the goal of making funding awards by summer 2012. He also directed GEFA and DCA to work closely with local governments to help them access the program, which includes conducting workshops for prospective applicants. GEFA and DCA will coordinate their activities with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association.
On Jan. 25, 2011, Deal issued an executive order charging GEFA with developing and implementing the GWSP to assist local governments in developing new sources of water supply adequate to meet future water needs. The governor directed GEFA to convene the WSTF to provide expert guidance in developing the GWSP and to ensure interagency cooperation in GWSP implementation. The WSTF was directed to create a water supply plan delineating the most effective approaches to developing new water supply facilities in Georgia; identifying project financing options, including public-private partnerships; and developing a project selection system for water supply projects.