The Upper Oconee Regional Water Plan was initially completed in 2011 and subsequently updated in 2017 and 2023. The plan outlines near-term and long-term strategies to meet water needs through 2060. Major water resources include portions of the Oconee, Ocmulgee, Ogeechee, Savannah, and Altamaha river basins and includes various groundwater aquifer systems. The Upper Oconee Region encompasses several major population centers including Athens and Dublin.
Key Water Resource Issues Being Addressed by the Council
- Efficient use of the water by all sectors, recognizing the diverse characteristics of the Upper Oconee.
- Strategic wastewater management in fast growing counties (Barrow, Jackson, Oconee, and Walton Counties).
- Potential limitations placed on future surface water supplies in existing impoundments.
- Protecting the water quality of Lakes Oconee and Sinclair and the Oconee River by reducing both point and nonpoint source nutrient loads.
- The natural capacity of the water bodies to process pollutants is exceeded in the middle (Morgan and Putnam Counties) and lower (Laurens and Wilkinson Counties) portion of the basin due to zones of low dissolved oxygen.