Publication reference: Hook, J.E., K.A. Harrison, G. Hoogenboom, and D.L. Thomas. 2005. Ag Water Pumping. Final Report of Statewide Irrigation Monitoring. Project Report 52. Ga. Geol. Survey, Envir. Protection Div., Atlanta, GA. 124p.
Georgia's Environmental Protection Division accepted the final report of the Ag Water pumping Study and gave it their publication number Project Report 52. It represented the largest phase of the contracted work - statewide irrigation monitoring. This covered the period of field visits and observations in 2000 through the extended period of 2004. The partial-year data of 1999 was not included. Other phases of Ag Water Pumping contracts included creation of a new database structure for EPD's Water Withdrawal Permitting for Agriculture, real-time monitoring of groundwater withdrawals in USGS Subarea 4 (Lower Flint), and Real-time monitoring in Spring Creek. Data and reports for these studies are provided elsewhere on this site.
The Final Project Report 52 was reviewed independently before acceptance by EPD. Release of the Agricultural Irrigation Monitoring data occurred during the negotiation stages of the Interstate Compacts of the ACT and ACF basins. It followed two consecutive enactments of the Flint River Drought Protection Act that required the State to make almost $10 million in payments to farmers to reduce water withdrawals for irrigation during the drought periods of 2001 and 2002. Various groups in Georgia were actively engaged in shaping a statewide water planning effort that was eventually cumminated in passage of the 2004 Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Planning Act. The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission and the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center were actively involved in planning for the permanent installation of flow meters on all Georgia irrigation systems as required by HB579 passed in 2003. The program was expected to eventually cost the state over $25 million by 2009. Because of all of these political concerns, EPD took the additional step to approach a national organization - Council for Agriculture Science and Technology - to organize an independent review of the final report, its methodology, data, and conclusions. The final corrected and accepted report is provided above.