Title 12, Chapter 5, Section 97
(a) Except for applications filed pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 12-5-105, permits under Code Section 12-5-96 may be granted for any period of time not less than ten years, unless the applicant requests a shorter period of time, nor more than 50 years. The director may base the duration of such permits on any reasonable system of classification based upon but not necessarily limited to such factors as source of supply and type of use. In evaluating any application for a permit for the use of water for a period of 25 years or more, the director shall evaluate the condition of the water supply to assure that the supply is adequate to meet the multiple needs of the citizens of the state as can reasonably be projected for the term of the permit and ensure that the issuance of such permit is based upon a water development and conservation plan for the applicant or for the region. Such regional plan shall promote the conservation and reuse of water within the state, guard against a shortage of water within the state, promote the efficient use of the water resource, and be consistent with the public welfare of the state. The board shall promulgate regulations for implementation of this subsection, including provisions for review of such permits periodically or upon a substantial reduction in average annual volume of the water resource which adversely affects water supplies to determine that the permittee continues in compliance with the conditions of the permit. In the event the director determines that a regional plan is required in connection with any application for a permit for the use of water for a period of 25 years or more, the division or a person or entity designated by the division shall develop a plan as provided in subsection (e) of Code Section 12-5-96.
(b) Permits may be renewed at any time within six months prior to the date of their expiration upon compliance with Code Section 12-5-96.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 12-5-105, permits shall not be transferred except with the approval of the division.
(d) Except as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of Code Section 12-5-105, every person who is required by this part to secure a permit shall file with the division, in the manner prescribed by the division, a certified statement of quantities of water used and withdrawn, sources of water, and the nature of the use thereof not more frequently than at 30 day intervals. Such statements shall be filed on forms furnished by the division within 90 days after the issuance of regulations. Water users not required to secure a permit shall comply with procedures established to protect and manage the water resources of the state. Such procedures shall be within the provisions of this part and shall be adopted after public hearing. The requirements embodied in the two preceding sentences shall not apply to individual domestic water use.
(e) If any person who is required to secure a permit under this part
is unable to furnish accurate information concerning amounts of
water being withdrawn or used, or if there is evidence that his
certified statement is false or inaccurate or that he is withdrawing
or using a larger quantity of water or under different conditions
than has been authorized by the division, the division shall have
the authority to require such person to install water meters or some
other more economical means for measuring water use acceptable to
the division. In determining the amount of water being withdrawn or
used by a permit holder or applicant, the division may use the rated
capacity of his pumps, the rated capacity of his cooling system,
data furnished by the applicant, or the standards or methods
employed by the United States Geological Survey in determining such
quantities or by any other accepted method.
(f) In any case where a permit applicant can prove to the division's
satisfaction that the applicant was withdrawing or using water prior
to July 1, 1973, the division shall take into consideration the
extent to which any uses or withdrawals were reasonably necessary,
in the judgment of the division, to meet his needs and shall grant a
permit which shall meet those reasonable needs; provided, however,
that the granting of such permit shall not have unreasonably adverse
effects upon other water uses in the area, including public use, and
including potential as well as present use.
(g) The division shall also take into consideration in the granting
of any permit the prior investments of any person in lands and the
nature of any plans for the usage of water in connection with such
lands, which plans have been submitted to the division within a
reasonable time after July 1, 1973, or, if for farm uses, after July
1, 1988; provided, however, that the granting of such permit shall
not have unreasonably adverse effects upon other water uses in the
area, including public use, and including potential as well as
(h) Pending the issuance or denial of a permit pursuant to
subsection (f) or (g) of this Code section, the applicant may
continue the same withdrawal or use which existed prior to July 1,