Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation that paves the way for public-private partnerships to build reservoirs and other water infrastructure projects.
Deal signed the legislation Monday at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce at Cobb Galleria.
Deal said providing for a stable and dependable water supply for the state has been near the top of his agenda.
Supporters say it will give cash-strapped local governments an alternative way to finance costly water projects as the state stares down a federal judge's deadline that could limit metro Atlanta's ability to withdraw water from Lake Lanier.
Opponents have said it gives private companies the ability to make a profit off the state's water woes and could allow for developments along the shores of new lakes that don't tap state money.