The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, voted on a Water Storage Agreement with the State of Georgia to allow the county to use storage volume in Lake Lanier for water supply.

 Early last year, Georgia entered into a Master Storage Agreement with the United States Department of the Army to secure water supply for multiple jurisdictions, Gwinnett County included. While Gwinnett and others have used water in the lake for many years, this contract for the first time grants long-term rights to storage volume in Lake Lanier to meet Gwinnett County’s water supply needs.

“Quality water is important for our residents and visitors,” said Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson. “It is the small benefits that play a large part in why Gwinnett County is the preferred place to live and work. DWR continues to deliver superior services and this is an important step toward securing the County’s water supply for years to come.”

As part of the agreement, the County will pay an annual fee to the State. A roughly $1.5 million annual payment goes toward the cost of storage. Additional fees for the county’s percentage of the cost of lake repair, rehabilitation and replacement, as wells as operation and maintenance, will be assessed every year.

“This contract is the result of many years of work to gain access to adequate storage volume to secure water supply for the communities that depend on Lake Lanier for their drinking water,” said DWR Interim Director Rebecca Shelton. “Recently, due to the hard work of DWR staff to properly treat the water from the lake, we recently received the award for best tasting water in Georgia.”

The contract remains in effect for a minimum of thirty years. Once Gwinnett pays for the storage costs, it will have rights to the storage volume. 

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