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SCDNR Extends Application Deadline for Saluda River Basin Council

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ (SCDNR) has extended the deadline for submitting Saluda River Basin Council membership applications to Jan. 3, 2023.

The South Carolina State Water Planning Framework, published in 2019, describes the process for developing water management plans, or River Basin Plans, for the eight planning basins in the State. A key feature of the process is the formation of a River Basin Council (RBC) in each basin. The RBC is a stakeholder-led team responsible for developing a River Basin Plan in their respective basin.

SCDNR is still looking to fill some key slots on the Saluda RBC. An RBC is made up of representatives from eight different interest categories which include: water and sewer utilities; electric power utilities and reservoir operators; environmental interests and conservation groups; agriculture, forestry, and irrigation interests; local governments; at-large water-based interests (public); water-based recreational interests; and industrial and economic development interests. Two public meetings were held in November to introduce the planning process to Saluda basin stakeholders and to solicit RBC membership applications. Anyone with experience or interests in the above categories are encouraged to apply. Applications, as well as public meeting presentations and recordings, can be found on the SCDNR Hydrology website at https://hydrology.dnr.sc.gov/saluda-basin-planning.html. Submission instructions are included in the application.

According to SCDNR Hydrology Section Chief Scott Harder, the Planning Framework is currently being applied in the Broad, Edisto, and Pee Dee planning basins, and RBC planning activities in the Saluda basin are scheduled to begin in the spring of 2023. Eventually, all eight of the state’s planning basins will have an RBC.

“It’s an important task that will guide water management in these basins for years to come, so recruiting knowledgeable and conscientious men and women to serve on the RBC is of utmost importance,” said Harder. “These folks will play a key role in managing this resource.”

River Basin Plans developed by each Council will evaluate existing water supplies and future demand, and address whether a basin’s water supply can meet the projected future demand. Council members will also be responsible for developing management strategies to ensure future water demands can be met while balancing long-term social, economic, and environmental needs. Read more about the development of the Planning Framework and related planning activities at: https://hydrology.dnr.sc.gov/state-and-river-basin-planning.html.

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