Water Planning in South Carolina

The South Carolina Water Resources Planning and Coordination Act of 1967 assigned the overall responsibility for developing a comprehensive water resources policy for the State, including coordination of policies and activities among State departments and agencies, to the South Carolina Water Resources Commission. As part of government restructuring, this act was amended in 1993, and these responsibilities were placed with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The water resources policy plan consists of two parts. Phase I—an overall assessment of the water resources of the State—was published as Water Resources Commission Report No. 140, South Carolina State Water Assessment. The Assessment describes the State's stream, lake, and aquifer systems and provides information relating to the occurrence and availability of water in South Carolina. Phase II outlines guidelines and procedures for managing the State's water resources, and was first published in 1998 by the Department of Natural Resources as the South Carolina Water Plan.

Both the Assessment and the Water Plan should be updated periodically, on the basis of changes in water demand and availability, and the development of new technologies and management strategies. The Water Plan was last revised and updated in 2004, reflecting knowledge gained and lessons learned from the multiyear drought of 1998-2002. It was published as the South Carolina Water Plan, Second Edition. The Assessment was updated in 2009 and was published as the South Carolina State Water Assessment, Second Edition.