Atlanta, GA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 9, 2010 – Beginning in July 2012, all new residential and commercial multi-unit projects in Georgia will be required to have submetering so that tenants will receive their individual consumption reports and be incentivized to practice conservation measures.
This was one of the measures announced by state governor Sonny Perdue, when he introduced the Georgia Water Stewardship Act of 2010 as a comprehensive proposal to encourage water conservation, reduce wasteful loss and incentivize innovation in both increasing water supply and lessening demand.
Many of the proposals in the Act are based on recommendations from the Governor’s Water Contingency Task Force, which met in the fall and winter and featured more than 80 business, government and environmental leaders from around Georgia.
“This bill represents the hard work and effort of the water task force and provides a road map towards being better stewards of our limited natural resources,” said Governor Perdue. “We have made great strides in creating a culture of conservation in Georgia, and these measures will continue our commitment to protect our state for future generations.”
The bill will be introduced in both the House and the Senate and will be sponsored by Senate Natural Resources and the Environment Committee Chairman Ross Tolleson and House Natural Resources and Environment Committee Chair Lynn Smith.
Other features of the Act include efficient water fixtures in all new residential and commercial construction statewide beginning July 2012. The legislation also instructs eight different state agencies to look at local government and water provider grant and loan programs to develop incentive criteria that would encourage retrofit programs on existing construction.
The bill also tasks the Georgia Environmental Protection Division with setting standards for water loss and leak detection for all medium and large public water systems. These systems serve 91 percent of Georgia’s water customers. Because data on water loss is currently not comparable from system to system, setting the standards will allow the state to assist water providers by identifying where the biggest losses are occurring.
The final piece of the legislation extends the voluntary agriculture monitoring program to include surface water withdrawals. Farmers around the state have voluntarily agreed to have groundwater withdrawals monitored and extending this program to surface water withdrawals from rivers, streams and lakes will continue to provide the critical data that informs not only water negotiations with neighboring states but also the state’s water inventory of sources and uses that is under development.