Meeting Summary: Upper Flint Council October 19, 2020
Welcome, Introductions, and Meeting Overview
Kristin Rowles (Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center) started the meeting by checking who was in attendance.
Donald Chase (Chair) welcomed members and thanked everyone for their attendance and for their flexibility in participating in a virtual format. He encouraged the Council to keep moving forward in planning under less than ideal circumstances. Chairman Chase mentioned the loss of Council members Harold Fallin and Eddie Freeman over the past few months and formally opened the meeting with an invocation.
Kristin Rowles (GWPPC) identified members and others participating in the webinar, offered some tips for navigating the Teams platform, and reviewed the meeting agenda and objectives. Attendees are listed at end of meeting summary. A quorum of Council members was confirmed.
Kristin introduced three brief presentations to update the Council members on the water planning process. The slides from these presenters (and others from this meeting) are available on the Council’s website.
Johanna Smith (GAEPD) provided an overview of the timeline and process for updating the Regional Water Plans. She also provided brief updates on water demand forecasting, resource assessments, the pending Supreme Court litigation between Florida and Georgia, and the open call for proposals for the Seed Grant program. In response to a Council member’s question, Kristin clarified that the limit on state funds is $75,000 per seed grant.
Steve Simpson (Black & Veatch) gave a detailed presentation on forecasting water demands from the municipal, industrial, and energy sectors. He gave members additional information on the stakeholder driven process led by Black & Veatch and CDM Smith to develop the forecasts. In response to a question, Steve said that the forecasts could be broken out by water source (groundwater vs. surface water).
Mark Masters (GWPPC) updated the Council on methods and timeline for completing the agricultural water demand forecasts. Mark mentioned that the same team from the GWPPC at Albany State and researchers from the University of Georgia that completed the 2015-16 forecasts have been engaged to complete the 2020-21 work. He noted improvements in the wetted acreage database and incorporation of meter data to improve estimates of crop water needs used to develop the current conditions and forecasted needs.
Seed Grant Proposal
Kristin Rowles (GWPPC) introduced a seed grant proposal from the region: A Plan to Address Water and Wastewater Issues in Pike County. The proposal was presented to the Council by Ellen Bauske and Mussie Habteselassie (UGA Griffin Campus). In their presentation (slides available), they indicated the parts of the Upper Flint Regional Water Plan that the project will help to implement. In response to a question, it was clarified that most of the municipalities in Pike County receive their water through a wholesale contract with the City of Griffin. In response to a question about the project budget, it was clarified that matching funds are still being sought from various entities, but that the 40% required minimum matching funds, or more, were expected to be available. Following discussion, Council members offered support and voiced no objections to sending a letter of support for the grant proposal to GAEPD.
Water Quality Data
Stephanie Whitacre (Black & Veatch) presented the Council an overview of the 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Water Quality Report. She provided members information on the various classifications and impairments contained in the report and showed examples of areas that have changed designation (slides available). Stephanie then gave members a brief overview of an interactive tool developed by GAEPD to review water quality conditions throughout the state (link provided in meeting slides and via separate communication to Council members).
No one wished to make a public comment.
Next Steps/Meeting Adjournment
Chairman Donald Chase thanked members for attending and the meeting was adjourned.
Council Members Attending October 20, 2020 Meeting
Donald Chase (Chair)
Raines Jordan (Vice Chair)
Johanna Smith (GAEPD)
Jennifer Welte (GAEPD)
Steve Simpson (B&V)
Stephanie Whitacre (B&V)
Kristin Rowles (GWPPC)
Mark Masters (GWPPC)