Members of the Coosa-North Georgia Water Planning Council met Wednesday at the Calhoun Depot to exchange ideas and hear about new concepts.
Matt Harper, of the Metro Water District, presented updated plans for conservation within the 14-county area south of the Coosa-North Georgia district.
Conservation implementations include “rain sensor shutoff,” when a sensor shuts off irrigation systems in rainy conditions, and low-flow toilet retrofitting in government buildings. Also, new car washes are now required to recycle water.
These measures, among others, said Harper, have resulted in a 20 percent per capita reduction in projected water use.
“Conservation is a big part of us meeting our future water supply goals,” he said. These efforts have dropped estimated demand amounts significantly from now until 2035, “effectively extending out our water supply,” Harper told the council.
Educating the public is also an important part of conservation, he said, listing northgeorgia-water.org and cleanwatercampaign.com as useful resources.
The metro district faces challenges in controlling interbasin transfers between water supplies – keeping water from different places separate once it enters the infrastructure system. The entire district simply cannot be replumbed to prevent these transfers, Harper said.
Maintaining adequate water sources is also a problem; it’s hard to build reservoirs, he said. Nevertheless, plans are in place to build six new water treatment plants, six water supply reservoirs and to expand 28 existing water treatment plants.
Per capita water demand x future population + region-specific factors = Future water needs County population projections for 2050:
Municipal per capita water rates, based on 2005 numbers: