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District ahead of state in water planning
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The chairman of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District said Tuesday that the region was five years ahead of the rest of the state in terms of water planning.

Kit Dunlap, who is also president and chief executive of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, made the remarks in a speech to the Gainesville Kiwanis Club.

"We’re about five years ahead of what the state is doing," Dunlap said. "I’m not just talking about metro Atlanta and downstream, that’s us, too."

The district was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 2001 to establish policy, create plans and promote intergovernmental coordination of all water issues in the district from a regional perspective. The district includes 16 counties and 99 cities within the metro Atlanta region where more than four million people, nearly half the population of the state, live.

"The statewide plan is a just a guide right now and it will be funded, but they’ve got a while to get where we are," she said. "Right now, we are updating all of our plans."

The Metro North Georgia agency formulates district-wide plans on management of the watershed, wastewater and water supply and conservation.

Dunlap said the drought has placed an additional emphasis on conservation, which will benefit the district long-term.

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