Georgia Water Use: Home

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Background:

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) South Atlantic Water Science Center and the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have been collecting and compiling water-use information in Georgia since 1980 as part of an ongoing cooperative agreement. Information used to estimate water-use for Georgia was gathered from a variety of Federal, State, local, private, and online sources. Some of the estimates are based on reported data required by Georgia and Federal legislation, whereas other estimates were made using coefficients and geospatial techniques. Water-use estimates were compiled for nine use-categories: domestic, commercial, industry, mining, thermoelectric power cooling, livestock, aquaculture, and irrigation (crops and golf courses).

Estimates of water use are made for all counties in Georgia; however, aggregating those county estimates to the eleven water-planning regions, identified in the Georgia Statewide Water Management Plan helps visualize how water is used in different parts of the State. Factors driving changes in estimated water use in Georgia from 1985 to 2015 include (1) population changes in number and location; (2) five periods of major drought; (3) water conservation efforts and education programs initiated by State and local governments and water utilities; (4) and changing water needs for thermoelectric power cooling, industry, and agricultural activities. One or more of these factors are evident in trends for each of the water use categories.

Georgia Water Planning Regions

Hover or click on region to view details

Trends:

The categories of use that have undergone the greatest change or variation in water quantity are thermoelectric power cooling, irrigation (crop and golf course), domestic and commercial, and livestock and aquaculture, respectively. Although livestock and aquaculture have shown an increase as irrigation and domestic and commercial water use has varied, these changes are greatly outweighed by major statewide decreases in thermoelectric power cooling use. Statewide water-withdrawal totals for thermoelectric power cooling have decreased due to the decommissioning of plants and the restructuring of others to less water-intensive technology. The variability of water withdrawals for the irrigation and livestock and aquaculture use categories can likely be tied to climate conditions during the growing season and changes in agricultural practices, such as the implementation of more efficient irrigation systems or changes in crop types and seasonal growing patterns. Domestic and commercial water needs have historically close ties to population changes. However, since 2005, water withdrawals decreased for these two categories even though the population continued to increase. This trend is likely connected to the numerous water conservation efforts and educational programs initiated by State and local governments and water utilities throughout Georgia since 2000. The water-use compilation series for Georgia provides temporal snapshots of water use in 5-year cycles, it is likely that the full variation of water use is not fully documented.

State-wide 2015
Total Population: 251.436, Total Withdrawal: 219.88 (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:979.95
INMI:596.01
POPC:843.21
LIAQ:130
IR:735.43
  • DOCO: Domestic and Commercial
  • INMI: Industry and Mining
  • POPC: Thermoelectric Power
  • LIAQ: Livestock and aquaculture
  • IR: Irrigation
  • TP: Total population
  • TW: Total withdrawal

Latest Water-use Totals by Category for Water Planning Region


Altamaha Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Coastal Georgia Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Coosa-North Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Lower Flint-Ochlockonee Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Metro-North Region 2015

TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Middle Chattahoochee Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Middle Ocumulgee Region 2015

TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Savannah-Upper Ogeechee Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Suwannee-Upper Ogeechee Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Upper Flint Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx

Upper Oconee Region 2015
TP: xx, TW: xx (Mgal/d)

CategoryMgal/day
DOCO:xx
INMI:xx
POPC:xx
LIAQ:xx
IR:xx