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Capacity Use Program: Western South Carolina

On July 19, 2016, Aiken County Council requested that portions of Aiken County be designated as a Capacity Use Area.

DHEC has since reviewed previously published reports on local groundwater conditions by the DNR and USGS in conjunction with reported groundwater withdrawal data for the counties of this region (Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Lexington, and Orangeburg) to assess the current groundwater conditions in the area. This review indicates that water level declines in these aquifer systems are being influenced by an increase in groundwater use that have reduced recharge to the aquifer systems.

The preliminary data in this report is provided here to facilitate the gathering of public input and any additional data or information that will help inform the potential designation of these counties as the Western Capacity Use Area.

What are the next steps?

DHEC will host stakeholder meetings in each county (Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Lexington and Orangeburg) and a public hearing to gather input and additional information concerning the potential designation of a new capacity use area. The designation of a Capacity Use Area would require DHEC Board approval. Anyone or any group who is interested in participating in this process should contact us in order to be put on the mailing list for upcoming meeting dates and locations. You are invited to attend any of the scheduled meetings, regardless of the county in which you reside.

Save The Date!

Stakeholder Meeting (April 9th, 2018)
Proposed Western Capacity Use Area

The meeting is to discuss the preliminary assessment of groundwater conditions in the proposed Western Capacity Use Area, which includes Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Lexington and Orangeburg counties.

Residents, groundwater withdrawers, local governments, organizations and any other interested parties are invited to participate in the discussion.

Monday, April 9th, 2018 6:00 PM
DHEC's Peeple's Auditorium
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201

The Groundwater Use and Reporting Program issues Groundwater Use Withdrawal Permits to all groundwater systems located in a designated Capacity Use Area. Groundwater withdrawal permits are required to withdraw and use groundwater equal to or greater than three million gallons in any month in the counties in these areas.

Please share this information with others who may be interested!


Additional Resources

A Preliminary Assessment of the Groundwater Conditions in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Lexington, and Orangeburg Counties, South Carolina