The 2004 Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Planning Act authorized the development of the State Water Plan. The State Water Plan in turn, calls for state-wide regional water planning to provide the necessary local and regional perspectives to ensure each of Georgia's ten water planning region's water resources are sustainably managed through at least 2050.
The Water Council is a coordinating committee created by the Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Planning Act. According to the Act, the Water Council’s purpose is to:
- Ensure coordination, cooperation and communication among state agencies and their water-related efforts in the development of a comprehensive statewide water management plan
- Provide input to the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources concerning development of the plan
- Review, modify if necessary, and approve the final draft of the proposed plan
- Recommend such proposed plan for consideration by the General Assembly
The Water Council consists of:
- eight state agency officials who serve ex officio;
- the chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee, ex officio;
- an additional member of that committee selected by the committee chair;
- the chair of the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, ex officio;
- additional members of that committee selected by the committee chair;
- one member who is not a member of the General Assembly who is appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and
- one member who is not a member of the General Assembly who is appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
The director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division serves as the chair of the Water Council.