Lake Lanier is a major source of water supply to the North Georgia region. Many communities surrounding Lake Lanier rely on it for both discharge of treated effluent as well as their sourcewater for drinking purposes. This practice, known as indirect potable reuse or reservoir augmentation, provides a sustainable water supply solution for the region’s growing population.
Specifically, in Gwinnett County, the majority of the county’s 56 MGD of treated wastewater is discharged to the Lake, which is also the primary drinking water source. This transformation of wastewater into a valuable supply of sourcewater requires careful planning, monitoring, and protection of Lake Lanier. While there have been various water research projects and planning efforts implemented throughout the Lake Lanier Watershed in the past by utilities and other organizations, there does not exist a centralized coordinated plan that documents, facilitates, and coordinates an approach to developing the ideation, planning, prioritization, management, resourcing, and funding of applied water research projects.
In response to this identified need, The Water Tower is leading the effort in partnership with Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to create a forum through which stakeholders and technical researchers will work together to develop a Lake Lanier Watershed Five Year Research Plan.
Local government jurisdictions in the Lake Lanier Watershed
Stakeholder Committees, consisting of utilities and other organizations with an interest in the Lake Lanier Watershed, will be virtually convened to gain their input on challenges and questions they are facing in the watershed. The identified challenges will then be translated into actionable applied research projects by technical experts in the field. These experts form the Technical Advisory Committee.
The output of this work is a coordinated Research Plan that will provide a multi-year research roadmap of project concepts to address critical needs in the Lake Lanier Watershed and benefit multiple water and wastewater utilities and other stakeholders. Topics covered in the Plan include non-point sources, nutrient management, lake water quality, monitoring programs, and stormwater management, among others.
Funding for prioritized projects will be crowdsourced among stakeholders and will be the focus of nonprofit, public and private grant applications. Once funded, the applied research projects will be competitively bid with regional and international 3rd party technical expert oversight and managed by The Water Tower.
Create a multi-year research agenda of applied research projects based on stakeholder and technical expertise to maintain and improve the Lake Lanier Watershed through a utility perspective and water quality lens
This project is being funded in part by Gwinnett County's Department of Water Resources. Thank you to our terrific collaborative team of individuals from The Water Tower, Gwinnett DWR, Constantine Engineering, and Carollo Engineers.
The Water Tower/Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources
This effort is currently ongoing and is anticipated to be completed in December 2020. Check this page for updates regarding publication dates for the Lake Lanier Watershed Five Year Research Plan.
To learn more about this project and The Water Tower's research activities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.