Capacity use area
From Water Wiki
The Water Use Act of 1967 G.S. 143-215.11 through .22 remains, in early 2008, North Carolina's principal way of allocating water (other than the common law). It provides for the designation by the Environmental Management Commission of capacity use areas--areas in which the supply of water (surface and/or groundwater) is insufficient to meet demand. Water withdrawals in capacity use areas require coordination and regulation, in order to protect the interests and rights of residents and property owners and of the public interest.
History in N.C.
The statute was drafted to handle the first such known area in the state, called the Capacity Use Area No. 1, an area in the coastal plain where the dewatering operations of a large phosphate mine (originally owned by Texas Gulf Sulfur, now PCS Phosphates, a Saskatchewan-based company that is the phosphate subsidiary of global agrochemical giant PotashCorp,NYSE: POT) had affected groundwater over a large area of eastern North Carolina. The original capacity use area (CUA #1), which is shown to the right, expired on August 1 2002, replaced by the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area.
N.C. Administrative provisions
The Division of Water Resources regulates usage in established capacity use areas through a permitting system that is described in this flowchart. In addition to the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area, the EMC established an Eno River Voluntary Capacity Use Area, and the EMC, Division of Water Resources and the Lumber River Council of Governments are closely monitoring groundwater levels and usage in LRCOG region.
S.C. and Georgia approaches
South Carolina followed N.C. in passing a capacity use area statute in the late 1960s, as did Georgia in 1972. In 1973 Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia agreed with environmental agency staff that a statewide withdrawal permit would be a more proactive way to manage water withdrawals, so in 1973 Georgia created its statewide withdrawal permit, a program that continues today as a foundational element of the Georgia Water Plan.
WAS study approach
The Capacity Use Area program is one of the fundamental water allocation processes that the Water Allocation is studying. This page is a summary of our research.