Drought – Private Reservoirs

Q: Why can’t cities and counties build their own reservoirs to store water in order to get out from under the Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction?

A: Well, bottom line, the waters of Georgia don’t belong to the cities or counties, they are the waters of the state.

The state Department of Natural Resources is charged with managing the state’s waters.

By law, the Department is charged with setting rules for the “withdrawal, diversion or use” of the waters of Georgia.

When 100,000 or more gallons of water a day is diverted or withdrawn by an entity, the DNR “shall require a state issued permit with conditions of need stated, controlled and monitored”.

Add to this the Federal issues of the Endangered Species Act, navigation concerns and interstate commerce angles and you can understand why the process of building a reservoir is usually much more than a city or county would like to take on.

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