In Georgia, Soil & Water Conservation Districts were brought into existence by a state law passed in 1937. Their original mandate was to encourage soil conservation following the Dust Bowl. Their mandate was later expanded to include water conservation. The Districts work with private landowners to improve the state's natural resources.
There are 40 Soil & Water Conservation Districts that include all 159 counties in Georgia. Some Districts are composed of a single county, while other Districts include multiple counties. Each county has at least two supervisor representatives on a District Board of Supervisors, one elected and the other appointed.
Because these Districts cover between a single and a few counties each, and are led by local District Supervisors, they have strong connections to local communities and lots of great local stories to tell.
Local Districts sponsor field days where they demonstrate "best management practices" in soil and water conservation.They also sponsor scholarships, an annual state competition known as Georgia Envirothon, as well as giving out grants for local conservation projects and reviewing local soil erosion and sediment control plans before local development projects break ground.
You can get a better feeling of activities at the District level by reading our newsletter Soil & Water News.
Supporting local conservaton districts is the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission. Commission members are appointed by the Governor and represent different regions of the state. The Commission's professional staff provide technical and administrative support to the 40 Soil & Water Conservation Districts.
State personnel are involved in:
Dam maintenance projects involving Georgia's more than 350 flood control dams.
Agricultural water metering in south Georgia.
Mobile Irrigation Lab that helps farmers make their irrigation systems more water efficient.
Plan reviews of uban land development projects.
Urban erosion and sediment control certification.
Improvements to the quality of water for agricultural producers (non-source point pollution).
The GSWCC provides public affairs support to both the Commission and the 40 Districts. News media wishing to know more about the Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission or the activities of any of the 40 Soil & Water Conservation Districts in Georgia should contact:
Communications/Information Resource Specialist