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SCDNR extends application deadline for Pee Dee River Basin Council


April 29, 2022

Map of South Carolina labeled Planning Basin broken up by Broad, Catawba, Edisto, Pee Dee, Salkehatchie, Saluda, Santee, and Savannah

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has extended the deadline for submitting Pee Dee River Basin Council membership applications to Monday, May 9.

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 major basins in the state. A key feature of the process is the formation of a River Basin Council (RBC) in each basin. The River Basin Council 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 Pee Dee River Basin Council. A River Basin Council 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 March to introduce the planning process to Pee Dee River basin stakeholders and to solicit River Basin Council 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. Submission instructions are included in the application.

According to SCDNR Hydrology Section Chief Scott Harder, the Planning Framework is currently being applied in the Edisto and Broad River basins, and River Basin Council planning activities in the Pee Dee basin are scheduled to begin within the next few months. Eventually, all eight of the state’s major river basins (see map) will have a River Basin Council.

“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 River Basin Council is of utmost importance,” said Harder. “These folks will play a key role in managing this resource.”

River Basin Plans developed by each River Basin 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.