Watering Georgia Report Released By Georgia Water Coalition

On November 8, 2017, the Georgia Water Coalition released a report on the state of water and agriculture in Georgia.  The Georgia Water Coalition’s new report—Watering Georgia: The State of Water and Agriculture in Georgia—highlights the history and economics of irrigated agriculture.  The report explains how the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issues and regulates 24,000 agricultural water withdrawal permits across the state. Read the report and view the press release at https://www.gawater.org/watering-georgia-report

Clean 13 Telepress Conference Slides and Audio Recording


Leading Water Protection Coalition Announces Clean Water Heroes in Inaugural Clean 13 Report

For Immediate Release Sept. 6, 2017

For More Information Contact:  

Joe Cook, 706-409-0128, [email protected]

Nominators and Honoree Contact Information: https://www.gawater.org/clean-13

Leading Water Protection Coalition Announces Clean Water Heroes in Inaugural Clean 13 Report

2017 Clean 13 map

The Georgia Water Coalition’s inaugural Clean 13 Report highlights extraordinary efforts on the part of businesses, industries, local governments, non-profit organizations, and individuals to protect the water and natural resources of Georgia.

Today, Georgia’s leading water protection coalition named its “Clean 13” for 2017. The report highlights individuals, businesses, industries, non-profit organizations and state and local governments whose extraordinary efforts have led to cleaner water in Georgia.

“Around the state, businesses and communities are making a difference for clean water,” said Joe Cook, advocacy and communication coordinator with Coosa River Basin Initiative, a Georgia Water Coalition member organization. “These may seem like small projects, affecting just an isolated area, but together they add up to big improvements for our water and communities.”

In northwest Georgia, fish and fishermen are coming back to Raccoon Creek thanks to a multi-year, multi-million dollar project of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and private partners.  While other creeks spill loads of mud and dirt into the Etowah River, Raccoon Creek, in Paulding County, regularly runs clear. As portions of the creek are restored, rare fish like Etowah and Cherokee darters thrive.

In urban Atlanta, years of rapid growth polluted the Chattahoochee and other rivers. Communities downstream bore the brunt of cleaning up this contaminated water. Now, multiple businesses, governments, and community groups in the metro area are preventing this pollution at its source by cleaning up urban creeks.

The City of Atlanta recently adopted one of the most far-reaching stormwater ordinances in the country.  So far, the city has approved more than 3,500 projects to control polluted runoff. Rain gardens, porous pavement, rainwater cisterns and other pollution controls can be seen all around the city.  These green infrastructure projects help keep polluted rainwater from entering streams.

The Georgia Institute of Technology built multiple projects that collect rainwater and keep pollution out of nearby Tanyard Creek, and the non-profit South Fork Conservancy is building trails along and restoring the banks of the North and South Forks of Peachtree Creek. By cleaning up the smaller streams that flow into the river, these projects improve the overall health of the Chattahoochee River.

In southwest Atlanta, the Chattahoochee gets another boost at the Cox Enterprises-owned Manheim vehicle remarketing facility. The company details some 68,000 vehicles every year and recycles 60 percent of the water it uses. This means less water has to be pumped from the Chattahoochee to meet metro Atlanta’s water needs.

Elsewhere around the state, entities big and small are making a difference. In the far northeast corner of the state, Ladybug Farms, a small sustainable farm in Rabun County, uses a massive rainwater catchment system to water its crops. The farm now promotes similar systems to other farmers and gardeners.

Down south in Waycross, the Cleveland-Georgia based Storm Water Systems helped Waycross officials solve a river litter problem. The company installed an in-stream trash trap for the city that captures thousands of pounds of trash annually.  The trash is cleaned out and sent to a landfill, keeping the Satilla River and Georgia’s coast cleaner.

On the Altamaha River near Baxley, the Scott Bridge Company used thoughtful bridge design and construction to protect endangered fish and mussels.

In Columbus, as well as other locations around the state, the shipping giant United Parcel Service (UPS) has gone above and beyond state stormwater control requirements. UPS installed pollution controls to protect tiny streams like Roaring Branch at its distribution hubs.

In the heart of the state, the Macon Water Authority used innovative pipe repair to help protect the Ocmulgee River.

Meanwhile, a little company in Decatur called Solar Crowdsource helped small businesses and homeowners invest in solar power projects. These clean energy projects reduce Georgians’ reliance on polluting and water guzzling fossil fuel plants.

Individuals are doing their part as well. At the state capital, Rep. John Meadows, the powerful chairman of the House Rules Committee, led the effort to update state policy on oil and gas drilling. Chairman Meadows’ legislation will ultimately help protect the state’s drinking water from risks associated with fracking. And, in southwest Georgia, Mark Masters of the Georgia Water Planning & Policy Center provides data and facts to shape state water policy.

Together, the efforts of these “Clean 13” are adding up to cleaner rivers, stronger communities and a more sustainable future for Georgia.

The Georgia Water Coalition publishes this list not only to recognize these positive efforts on behalf of Georgia’s water but also as a call to action for our state’s leaders and citizens to review these success stories, borrow from them and emulate them.

Honorees will be recognized at a celebration on March 8, 2018 from 6:30-9:30pm at the Mason Arts Center in Atlanta. The event will be chaired by Stephanie Stuckey, Chief Resilience Officer, 100 Resilient Cities pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation; Office of Resilience, City of Atlanta. To learn more about the event and purchase tickets, visit https://www.gawater.org/clean-13

# # #

The Georgia Water Coalition is a consortium of more than 240 conservation and environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, businesses, and faith-based organizations that have been working to protect Georgia’s water since 2002. Collectively, these organizations represent more than 250,000 Georgians.


Media Advisory: Georgia Water Coalition to Release 2017 Clean 13 Report

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release, August 31, 2017

Contact: Joe Cook, 706-409-0128, [email protected]

Georgia Water Coalition to Release 2017 Clean 13 Report

When: Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m.

Where: By tele-press conference. Please RSVP

Dial-In Instructions: 912-226-4313, NO PIN needed

Web Presentation: A slide deck to accompany the call is available at: https://www.gawater.org/clean-13

What: On Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 10:00 am EST, the Georgia Water Coalition will host a tele-press conference for the release of our inaugural Clean 13 Report. This report highlights the extraordinary work accomplished by individuals, businesses, industries, non-profit organizations and state and local governments to protect Georgia’s water.

Entities recognized in the Clean 13 Report include:

  • City of Atlanta—Stormwater management ordinance eliminates pollution.
  • Cox Enterprises—Conservation-minded company recycles water to protect Chattahoochee.
  • Solar Crowdsource—Decatur company brings solar to small businesses and homeowners to protect multiple Georgia rivers.
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources—State agency restores and protects Paulding County’s Raccoon Creek.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology—Green infrastructure projects transform campus into model for water efficiency, relieve pollution of Tanyard Creek.
  • Ladybug Farms—Rabun County organic farm extols the virtues of rainwater harvesting.
  • Macon Water Authority—Innovative pipe restoration protects Ocmulgee River.
  • Mark Masters—Water Planning and Policy Center Director provides facts to steer Georgia water policy.
  • Chairman John Meadows—Powerful state legislator takes the lead on bills protecting drinking water.
  • Scott Bridge Company—Bridge builder uses design and construction to protect endangered fish and mussels.
  • South Fork Conservancy—Citizens organize $4.5 million restoration and trail project on Peachtree Creek and its forks.
  • Storm Water Systems—Company’s trash traps remove litter from streams, keep it out of oceans.
  • United Parcel Service—Package delivery giant eliminates carbon emissions and stormwater pollution in Columbus and other locations across state.

Please RSVP Here: https://goo.gl/forms/8VQF8iXv6lh6V5Wr2

Mott Foundation Regrant Program

Mott Foundation Regrant Program
Building New Relationships to Advance Georgia Water Coalition Priorities
Call for Proposals – July, 2017
The Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) has identified a need to forge new and strategic partnerships across Georgia to advance GWC priorities as outlined in the 2016 Strategic Plan.  With generous support from the Mott Foundation, the Re-Grant Program will provide GWC partner groups with funding to support efforts to advance the GWC’s priority issues in their watersheds or regions. This program will provide grants in the range of $1,000 to $10,000.  Georgia River Network (GRN) is administering the Re-Grant program with guidance from a program committee made up of members of the GWC Leadership Team including Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Flint Riverkeeper, GRN, and Georgia Wildlife Federation. The Re-Grant Committee  invites GWC partners—e.g. watershed organizations, Riverkeepers, regional organizations, etc.—who are well positioned to cultivate relationships with local decision makers in chambers of commerce, Farm Bureau chapters and other regional institutions, with the near and long-term goals for bringing great influence to bear on state-level elected officials. Re-Grant funds will be awarded to partner groups to implement strategic projects that further the progress on GWC priority issues listed in the 2016 Strategic Plan.  Eligibility for a re-grant requires that the proposed work take place in Georgia. The organization must be a GWC Partner and non-profit 501c3 organization. To apply, submit a one page proposal in a word document format that includes a project budget, identifies measurable and achievable results and outlines the work plan for the project.  Submit the proposal via email to Dana Skelton at [email protected] by August 31, 2017.  The funds will be disbursed to grantees upon receipt of a signed grant contract.  Projects must be underway by February 15, 2018 and a report on progress will be due at that time. If you do not have a copy of the 2016 GWC Strategic Plan, contact Gina Rogers at [email protected].


Required Groundwater Report Running Behind Schedule

For Immediate Release
Required Groundwater Report Running Behind Schedule
ATLANTA, GA (July 11, 2017)—During the 2015 Georgia Legislative Session the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 1198, which required the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to issue a report detailing its review of current underground drinking water regulations by June 30, 2017. The report has yet to be issued by EPD, but new groundwater contamination has been identified since 2015 as a result of leaking coal ash ponds at coal fired power plants round the state. Read the full release at https://www.gawater.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2017_07_11Groundwater-report-late.pdf