July 06, 2016

Meeting Summary: Suwannee-Satilla Council June 23, 2016


To: Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council

From: Shayne Wood, CDM Smith

Date: July 6, 2016

Subject: Suwannee–Satilla Council Meeting 2 – Meeting Summary 2016–2017 Regional Water Plan Review and Revision Process

This memorandum provides the meeting summary of the Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council Meeting 2, held on June 23, 2016 at the DuBose Porter Center, Oconee Fall Line Technical College in Dublin, GA 31021. A joint Council Meeting was held for the six eastern regional water planning councils (Altamaha, Coastal Georgia, Middle Ocmulgee, Suwanee-Satilla, Savannah Upper Ogeechee and Upper Oconee) from 10 AM to 3 PM. The Suwannee–Satilla Council held a brief individual council meeting subsequent to the joint meeting. The individual Suwannee–Satilla Council meeting was held from approximately 3:10 PM to 3:42 PM and followed the agenda:

1) Welcome

Chairman Scott Downing called the meeting to order, welcomed the Council Members (CMs) and guests and proceeded the meeting following the agenda.

2) Debrief with Council Members from Joint Meeting Earlier in the Day

The CMs discussed the topics covered earlier in the day and generally the feedback was very good. Some of the specific comments noted included:

  • One CM noted they were glad to see that Dr. Kennedy noted that pumping from the Floridan aquifer does have a slight impact on the surficial aquifer. The CM noted that Dr. Kennedy had not previously noted that impact before. Another CM noted that Dr. Kennedy likely needed additional data/modeling to assert if one affected the other.
  • Several CMs noted that for future joint meetings they would appreciate more time for discussion, Q&A and discussion among their neighboring councils. They noted that they would have liked to have more opportunities to ask questions of EPD’s experts. One CM offered that maybe a panel discussion would work better, to facilitate additional Q&A time with EPD’s experts.
  • There was some discussion by several of the CMs regarding shared resources, use of surface water in the region and neighboring regions, and trying to understand how much water the Metro Atlanta area would need in 15-years. Cliff Lewis noted that the surface water gaps were the largest gaps, however, the trend in the Suwannee–Satilla region has been away from surface water and toward development of more groundwater.
  • There was discussion too regarding incorporating 5-years of new data and that the year 2013 was really dry. Additionally, the discussion noted that Dr. Wei was able to look at the 2011 metered data and that EPD has been working with their consultants to better characterize and model water use associated with farm ponds.

3) Council Meeting Business

The Planning Contractor (PC) passed out the draft meeting summary from Council Meeting 1 which was held on March 9, 2016 at the Nashville Community Center in Nashville, Georgia. CMs reviewed the draft meeting summary and a CM moved for approval, another CM provided a second, and all CMs present voted yes for approval of the meeting summary. It was noted that the council did not have a quorum, and therefore the PC would follow up over e-mail with the other council members not in attendance, to poll the rest of the council.

CMs discussed the options being considered for selecting a priority watershed that would be eligible for a 319h grant special award to develop a 9-element Watershed Management Plan. Cliff Lewis and Eugene Dyal discussed a couple of options and one that could potentially be coordinated as a joint project with the Altamaha council. However, it seemed that Altamaha may be considering identifying a project in a different watershed. There was some additional discussion on what would count as matching funds, for instance, could EPD’s support in the form of technical support, count toward the required matching funds. Veronica Cross, EPD’s new grant administrator, was present and the group agreed that Eugene, Cliff and Veronica would follow-up offline to identify: (1) potential projects, (2) a funding match source, (3) a partner as a “subgrantee” to help write the plan, and bring back a recommendation to the council to consider. The PC noted there was still some time to identify the project and get it going but that the plan would need to be completed and approved by June of 2018.

Chairman Scott Downing asked if there was any other new business items that the council needed to consider or discuss. No other new business was noted.

4) Public Comment Period

No individuals were present to provide public comments.

The meeting adjourned at 3:42 PM.

5) Meeting Attendance

Suwanee-Satilla Regional Water Council members in attendance:

  • Ben Copeland, Scott Dowling, Eugene Dyal, Michael E. Edgy, Dan Raines, Andy Stone, Brittany Hull and Tom Putnam (on behalf of Council Member Wesley Langdale)

Georgia EPD Representatives in attendance:

  • Cliff Lewis and Veronica Cross

Reginal Water Council Planning Contractors in attendance:

  • Shayne Wood (representing CDM Smith)

Public attendees:

  • N/A

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