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Rebutting regulated riparian

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As water becomes a more limited resource throughout the country, more states are asking -Is the allocation of water a guaranteed, commoditized property right or a protected public resource?- Georgia has attempted to answer this question, and balance urban and rural water needs, by adopting a Regulated Riparian water allocation policy. The State issues water use permits, by county, while maintaining traditional riparian use as a means to recognize long-term, good water stewards.However, an ambiguous term, such as -Regulated Riparian,- can send mixed signals that lead to tension, conflict, and confusion, especially when the subject is already rife with tension. In addition, the current policy attempts to manage water by using political jurisdictions – Georgia’s 159 counties – rather than watershed or basin boundaries. Finally, for any water management system to be effective, Georgia must take the next step by legislating clear water allocation objectives and identifying consistent funding mechanisms.This paper proposes a three-pronged water allocation policy for Georgia that 1 solidifies relationships with long-term good water stewards while making clear that the state owns the resource, 2 manages water use on a watershed basis, not a county-by-county basis, and 3 establishes clear funding mechanisms, such as an ad-valorum tax converted to property tax and user pay systems.

2005 Georgia Water Resources Conference -

Autor: Wodraska, John R. Woody - -


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