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Regulation of groundwater use in Georgia

Water is a precious resource, and water conservation is important to ensure that we don’t put this resource at unnecessary risk. When it comes to conserving water, there are a number of everyday things property owners can do to cut back on their use, such as using high efficiency washers and dryers, reducing the amount of time one keeps the shower on, avoiding running sinks, fixing leaks, avoiding unnecessary or wasteful lawn-watering, collecting rain water for garden-watering, and so on.

One possibility that many property owners do not consider is tapping into groundwater that may lie beneath their property. For some Georgia property owners, utilizing underground water resources not only adds to water conservation efforts, but it can also lead to significant cost savings.  

Here in Georgia, property owners are legally permitted to make use of any groundwater beneath their property. Not every property owner will have the ability to access groundwater in equal measure, or at all, and there are costs involved, but for those who do have the possibility of doing so, it is worth considering.  Under Georgia law, property owners who use more than 100,000 gallons per day on a monthly average are required to obtain the proper permits from the Environmental Protection Division. For those who use less than that amount, the law is subject to the rule of reasonable use. Reasonable use is regulated under the Groundwater Use Act of 1972,

In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at the Groundwater Use Act.

Source:, “Georgia Water Law,” Robert S. Bomar, Accessed Nov. 9, 2013.

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