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Monitoring is key for water source quality
Phil Odom with the Coastal Regional Water Resource Planning Council presents to the Exchange Club of Richmond Hill. (Crissie Elrick)

Expected growth along Georgia’s coast is leading members of the Coastal Regional Water Resource Planning Council to monitor water usage, and possibly look for alternative water sources.

Phil Odom with the Coastal Regional Water Resource Planning Council and chair of the Liberty Regional Water Resource Council explained Wednesday to the Exchange Club of Richmond Hill that it is important to monitor the quality of water sources throughout the region, especially over the next 40 years.

“The science given to the Coastal Georgia Regional Water Planning Council in preparing best management techniques for the statewide water and conservation plan for 2012 has led me to personally believe that our land use and surface water practices of the past 180 years, and our withdrawal of underground water over the past 130 years, has led to degradation of both natural water supply systems,” Odom said during the club’s weekly meeting at the Richmond Hill City Center.

The coastal region, which is comprised of nine counties, covers an estimated 3,990 square miles Odom said, including Liberty and Bryan counties. And according to the Executive Summary from the Georgia Coastal Council, the population of this region is projected to reach 1.3 million residents by the year 2050.

Odom explained that, like other counties in the coastal region, Liberty and Bryan counties have limitations on how much water from the Upper Floridan Aquifer can be used. This is because aquifer pumping in coastal regions can lead to saltwater intrusion, which occurs when aquifer pumping surpasses the aquifer’s ability to replenish itself naturally, Odom said.

Read more in the May 28 edition of the News.

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