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Bill Number: 2549 Ratification Number: 115 Act Number 198 Introducing Body: House Subject: Minimum flow levels for streams and watercourses
(A198, R115, H2549)
A JOINT RESOLUTION TO REQUIRE THE SOUTH CAROLINA WATER RESOURCES COMMISSION TO IDENTIFY AND LIST THE STREAMS AND WATERCOURSES OF THE STATE FOR WHICH MINIMUM FLOW LEVELS NEED TO BE ESTABLISHED, AND PREPARE PROPOSED STREAMFLOW STANDARDS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds:
(a) A substantial increase has occurred in the number of significant withdrawals of water from the various streams and watercourses of this State.
(b) These withdrawals, if continued without due regard for their cumulative effect on streamflows, could adversely affect, to a serious and significant degree uses dependant upon those streams and watercourses, including fish and wildlife resources, recreation, water quality, hydropower generation, aesthetics, navigation, and ecosystem maintenance.
(c) Fish and wildlife resources, recreation, water quality, hydropower generation, aesthetics, navigation, ecosystem maintenance, agriculture, and other concerns are individually and collectively linked to the continued economic well-being of industries, the health, safety, and welfare of all South Carolinians, and the general attractiveness of South Carolina for future development.
(d) As greater demands are placed upon South Carolina's water resources to meet off-stream uses such as industrial, agricultural, and domestic water supply, the effects upon and need for protection of in-stream uses of water identified hereinabove will increase.
Commission must identify and list streams and water courses
SECTION 2. The South Carolina Water Resources Commission must identify and list those streams and watercourses throughout the State for which minimum flow levels need to be established in order to assure the continued viability of stream-related use as identified in Section 1. In determining the criteria to be used to identify the above streams, the Commission must consult with the Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the Department of Agriculture, the State Development Board, the Coastal Council, and with all affected state and local governments. The Commission must include in this identification list those streams and watercourses the Commission determines are significant, along with a statement of findings as to why that stream or watercourse was selected. The identification list required by this section must rank the streams and watercourses beginning with those in which the need for establishing minimum flow levels is the greatest. The Commission must compile information for each watercourse as to current and projected water use. The Commission, in its discretion, may revise the list and may add or delete streams or watercourses as circumstances require following notice of such proposed action by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area. The initial identification list required by this section must be completed no later than January 1, 1985.
Stream flow standards
SECTION 3. The Commission must prepare proposed streamflow standards for each stream or watercourse determined to have a significant need for regulation. In developing the standards for each stream the Director must consult with those governmental entities identified in Section 2. The Commission must also consult with any private individuals, groups, or organizations as deemed advisable by the Commission. The Commission must complete the preparation of proposed standards for all streams on the initial identification list no later than January 1, 1987.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.