Land, Water & Conservation Division - Fact Sheet

Street Address:
1000 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone Numbers

Mailing Address:
PO Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202

Main Purpose:
The Division of Land, Water and Conservation develops and implements programs that study, manage and conserve the state's land and water resources. This is accomplished by providing guidance in resource development and management through planning, research, technical assistance, public education, and development of a comprehensive natural resources database.

Hydrology Section staff conduct scientific studies of the state's surface and groundwater resources, provide technical assistance to water users and develop state wide water assessments and plans.

The purpose of the Geological Survey is to encourage economic development through the dissemination of geologic information. Value is created with the development of 1:24,000-scale maps in a digital format that accurately portrays and delineates the area's geologic framework and structural architecture. The information also is used to address environmental protection, land-use, and hazard mitigation issues from a geologic perspective.

The Habitat Protection section coordinates habitat protection efforts by the agency. It consists of the Heritage Trust, Focus Areas and River Conservation programs. In conjunction with the Habitat Protection Committee, which reviews and approves all land acquisition initiatives in the agency, this section takes a systematic approach to land acquisition. This approach is blended with the need to respond to opportunities for habitat protection, basing such decisions on agency wide goals. The River Conservation programs include the State Scenic Rivers Program which manages and conserves important river corridors in the state.

The State Climate Office serves as the focal point for the state's climate data and makes this information available to the public. With records dating to 1738, the State Climate Office provides documentation for many uses, including litigation involving weather and documentation for insurance claims. This office serves as liaison between the National Weather Service and other state agencies during severe weather events such as tornadoes, drought, and hurricanes.

South Carolina's 46 soil and water conservation districts, which correspond to county boundaries, receive staff, funding and guidance from the division. Division staff work through the districts' network to provide technical assistance and other programs to facilitate the protection, wise use and enhancement of the state's soil and water resources.

The Aquatic Nuisance Species Program works to prevent and control aquatic nuisance species, such as hydrilla, in the state’s public waters. These non-native species can affect a variety of water uses, including public water supply, recreation and power generation.

The Flood Mitigation Program coordinates floodplain management and National Flood Insurance Program functions in the state. The division coordinates DNR's review of environmental impacts of construction and alteration activities in the 38 inland counties of South Carolina. Analytical laboratory services are provided to all divisions of the DNR.