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Sunday, February 28, 2010 - 4:06pm

Lawmakers To Review Water Conservation Bill

Lawmakers will review the governor's plan to conserve water this week. The legislation is instrumental in on-going negotiations with Florida and Alabama over Atlanta’s drinking water source Lake Lanier.

The so-called Georgia Water Stewardship Act would require more efficient water infrastructure of new constructions and sub-metering at buildings like apartments so individuals can tell how much water they’re using.

The sponsor of the companion bill in the senate, Republican Ross Tolleson, says it’s a step toward making everyone pay for what they use.

"And it will also give ability over time to charge the person who is using the most water for his water and not as much to the person who is not using as much water," says Tolleson. "It builds the conservation method that makes you think about what you’re using."

It would take effect July 2012.

That’s also a federal deadline set by a judge that could cut Atlanta off from Lake Lanier’s water.

Senator Tolleson says an amendment which makes the state keep track of what water sources farmers are actively using will help Georgia in its water negotiations with neighboring states.

"I think by the metering program that the agricultural community has done and now by changing the language of having active and inactive permits," says Tolleson. "It’s going to go a long way to help with Florida, because there again it brings the actual real data to the table."

House lawmakers will make their own changes to the bill when they meet Tuesday.

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