The Upper Oconee Region covers approximately 5,000 square miles and includes 13 counties and 62 municipalities. Athens-Clarke County is the most populous county in the Region, while Hancock County is the least populated. The Upper Oconee Regional Water Planning Council meets regularly between plan updates to discuss ongoing implementation of the plan, outreach to interested stakeholders, and hear the latest on water issues affecting the Region. Below is a summary of ongoing activities.
Regional Water Plan Seed Grants
Regional Water Plan Seed Grants provide competitive funding annually to support and incentivize local governments and other water users as they undertake implementation of the Regional Water Plan. The Grants require cash and in-kind match, and have a maximum project amount. Additional information about Seed Grants may be found at EPD’s website: SEED GRANTS.
During the 2020 seed grant cycle, the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center at Albany State was awarded a seed grant to fill a gap in information for the Oconee River Basin. The project had three goals:
- Collect information on the ways that people use and benefit from the water resources of the Oconee River Basin.
- Examine how uses and benefits vary with streamflow or lake levels.
- Provide results for use in regional water planning by the Upper Oconee Regional Water Planning Council and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
The results are available at https://h2opolicycenter.org/projects/waters-of-the-oconee-river-basin/
Regional Newsletter and Fact Sheet
EPD collaborated with the planning contractors and Council Chairs to create a newsletter to keep Council Members updated on the work that was conducted for the 2020-2023 Regional Water Plan Update. Topics covered include updates from EPD, planning process and resource assessment overviews, forecasting results, and funding updates. Newsletter editions may be released on a quarterly basis or after Council Meetings, as appropriate. The 2023 Fact Sheet was developed to capture the highlights of the 2023 Regional Water Plan Update. The released newsletters and fact sheet can be found below.