In support of the Regional Plan Update, separate technical memoranda were developed on water and wastewater forecasting as well as a resource gap analysis.
Water and Wastewater Forecasting
Water and wastewater demand forecasts form the foundation for water planning in the Suwannee-Satilla Region and serve as the basis for the selection of water management practices. Forecasts are summarized within Section 4 of the Regional Water Plan, but additional detail can be found in the Water and Wastewater Forecasting Technical Memorandum.
Over the next 40 years, the population in the Suwannee-Satilla Region is projected to grow by 4%, increasing the demands for surface water and groundwater and increasing the quantity of wastewater generated. Total water withdrawals by municipal, industrial, and agricultural sectors are forecasted to increase by 23% (74 million gallons per day (MGD)) from 2020 to 2060. Total wastewater flows are projected to increase by 5% (3.4 MGD) over the same period.
The Gap Analysis Technical Memorandum compares the water and wastewater demand forecasts to the available resources. This material is also summarized within Section 5 of the Regional Water Plan. Areas where future demands exceed the estimated capacity of the source have a potential gap that may be addressed through water management practices. Potential water resource issues identified for the Suwannee-Satilla Region include:
- Over the planning horizon, forecasted surface water demands within the Suwannee-Satilla Region are projected to cause potential gaps in surface water availability in the Alapaha, Satilla, and Withlacoochee Rivers.
- At the regional level, no groundwater resource shortfalls are expected to occur in the Suwannee-Satilla Region over the planning horizon.
- Assimilative capacity assessments indicate the need for improved wastewater treatment in some facilities within the Suwannee, Satilla, and St. Marys river basins.
- Addressing non-point sources of pollution and existing water quality impairments should be a part of addressing the region’s future needs.