They mostly reviewed changes to the plan they approved at the last meeting, back in November, at this meeting in Nashville, Georgia, of Georgia’s Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council.
The biggest agenda item was discussion of the Lake Beatrice dam project, which is intended to impound water as a recreational facility for Ben Hill County and to replenish the Alapaha River when it is low.
Attendees and Lake Beatrice project @ SSRWPC 2023-03-14
Chair Scott Downing made an interesting point that we do this all the time via drinking water withdrawals, which go back into streams as outfall from wastewater treatment plants. This is why Lake Beatrice has enough incoming water to dam: outfall from the Ben Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant, which goes into Turkey Creek, Lake Beatrice, Willacoochee Creek, the Willacoochee River, and the Alapaha River.
Also, the Lake Beatrice project was his idea.
Map: Ben Hill WTP in the WWALS map of the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)
Here is a video of the chair talking about the Lake Beatrice project: https://youtu.be/8HdzHHUgZaM
Lake Beatrice Storage and its inventor: SSRWPC Chair Scott Downing
Agriculture mostly uses groundwater
Shayne H. Wood, contractor, CDMSmith, SSRWPC
Most of the meeting was reviewing changes approved last time
Several people attended remotely via teams, but did not say much.
Only two actual council members were there: Chair Scott Downing of Ben Hill County, and Mac McCall of Lowndes County, who was there in place of his father Rusty McCall. The governor (this one and the last one) have not appointed new council members in so long that several have died off, and others
The attendees: Sheri Almer and Cliff Lewis of GA-EPD, Emory Gawlik and Shayne Wood of GDM Smith, Council Mac McCall, Chair Scott Downing, Foreground Bert Early of Georgia Forestry, Elizabeth Backe of SGRC, Emily Ducker and Sean King of SRWMD –John S. Quarterman Suwannee Riverkeeper
The other Council members do participate via email between meetings, said the Chair.
Chair Scott Downing wanted to make clear that he invites applications for the annual GA-EPD Seed Grant program related to the Water Planning Councils, but he wants potential applicants to talk to the Council early. He agreed that WWALS was doing that.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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