The Georgia Water Coalition’s (GWC) mission is to protect and care for Georgia’s surface water and groundwater resources, which are essential for sustaining economic prosperity, providing clean and abundant drinking water, preserving diverse aquatic habitats for wildlife and recreation, strengthening property values, and protecting the quality of life for current and future generations. The members of the Georgia Water Coalition work collaboratively and transparently with each other to achieve specific conservation goals.
The Principles Defining the Georgia Water Coalition’s Work
The members of the Georgia Water Coalition work collaboratively and transparently with each other to achieve specific goals based on the following principles.
- Mission and Guiding Principles
The Georgia Water Coalition’s mission is to protect and care for Georgia’s surface water and groundwater resources, which are essential for sustaining economic prosperity, providing clean and abundant drinking water, preserving diverse aquatic habitats for wildlife and recreation, strengthening property values, and protecting the quality of life for current and future generations.
The GWC’s Guiding Principles
The members of the GWC work collaboratively and transparently with other Coalition members to achieve specific goals based on the above principles.
A. Racism and other discriminatory biases are embedded in our society’s institutions. This bias influences public resources, such as community processes, priority setting, and resource allocation. Pollution and toxins disproportionately impact the health of marginalized communities, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, people of color, immigrant, and lower wealth communities. In order to ensure that every Georgian has access to clean water, biases and inequities must be addressed, and all Georgians must have equal opportunity to a seat at the decision-making table.
B. The surface waters and groundwater of Georgia are public resources to be managed by the state in the public interest and in a sustainable manner to protect natural systems, meet human and economic needs, and account for the effects of climate change.
C. Effective water management requires ongoing, rigorous evaluation and planning that is:
- transparent and informed by citizen input;
- based on watersheds, river basins, and aquifers;
- informed by the best available scientific data;
- reliant on uniform, consistently applied, and enforceable standards; and implemented, enforced, and timely revised as necessary.
D. Shared waters must be apportioned equitably among all users to meet reasonable needs and assure the long-term sustainability of the natural systems on which those water supplies depend.
E. Effective water management and allocation requires conservation as the primary management method. All Georgians must strive to become better water stewards for those living in a downstream area, adjacent state, or elsewhere in a given river basin.
A long-time funder of the GWC assessed the efficacy of its environmental program funding. The assessment revealed that the resources invested in the GWC have created a powerful statewide force for Georgia’s waters. The GWC is an exceptional leader on critically important water issues within the state of Georgia and the southeastern region.
Helping to make sure that Georgia’s surface and ground waters continue to be a public resource, managed in the public interest are Georgia’s Water Coalition Leadership Team:
Altamaha Riverkeeper (2016)
Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (2002 founding member)
Coosa Basin Initiative (member since 2003)
Environment Georgia (2007)
Flint Riverkeeper (2009)
Garden Club of Georgia (2014)
Georgia Conservation Voters (2021)
Georgia River Network (2007)
Georgia Wildlife Federation (founding member)
Ogeechee Riverkeeper (2003)
One Hundred Miles (2014)
Satilla Riverkeeper (2014)
Savannah Riverkeeper (2013)
Sierra Club (2006)
Southern Environmental Law Center (founding member)
Ask your environmental group, church, university, homeowner association, or other civic organization to Become a Georgia Water Coalition Partner. The coalition currently has over 275 member groups! Click here to learn more about becoming involved as a partner.