Capacity Use Program: Trident Groundwater Management Plan

Maguro Enterprises, LLC & Mt. Pleasant Waterworks

On January 6, 2020 DHEC issued the final Groundwater Withdrawal Permit to Mt. Pleasant Waterworks.

Groundwater Withdrawal Permit - Mt. Pleasant Waterworks

On Nov. 20, 2019, DHEC issued an adjusted Draft Groundwater Withdrawal Permit to Mt. Pleasant Waterworks.

Adjusted Draft Permit - Mt. Pleasant Waterworks

This draft permit includes:

  • Graduated withdrawal limits
    • 1st year: 2,409 Million gallons per year (the applicant's requested amount)
    • 2nd year: 2,165.7 Million gallons per year
    • 3rd year: 1,922.3 Million gallons per year
    • 4th year: 1,679 Million gallons per year
  • Additional comments

The purpose of the draft permit is to conserve and protect South Carolina's groundwater resources while also appropriately providing for public water system use. This draft permit provides a step-down approach in the amount of groundwater withdrawal over the duration of the permit, with the goal of allowing the aquifer to recover while not adversely affecting other aquifer users.

The applicant has 15 days from the date of the new draft permit to review it, and DHEC plans to make a final decision on the permit in early December.

On Dec. 12, 2019, all three parties (DHEC, Maguro Enterprises and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League) entered into an agreement whereby the Coastal Conservation League withdrew its Request for Final Review that was to be considered by DHEC's Board. The parties agreed to the inclusion of language within a special condition of the permit, as outlined in this consent agreement, that clarifies both the intent of the DHEC's special condition as well as Maguro's permit application.

On Oct. 9, 2019, DHEC issued a Groundwater Withdrawal Permit to Maguro Enterprises, LLC (Google). The final permit, corresponding summary sheets, and a Trident Capacity Use Area presentation may be viewed below.

Groundwater Withdrawal Permit - Maguro Enterprises, LLC

On August 22, 2019, DHEC submitted Draft Groundwater Withdrawal Permits to both Maguro Enterprises, LLC (Google) and Mt. Pleasant Waterworks. The draft permits, corresponding summary sheets, and a Trident Capacity Use Area presentation may be viewed below. DHEC will meet with the Trident Capacity Use Area's Technical Advisory Committee regarding the draft permits.

Time and Date: 2:00 PM; Monday, September 30th, 2019   
5790 Casper Padgett Way, North Charleston, SC 29406

Permit Application - Maguro Enterprises, LLC Draft Permit - Maguro Enterprises, LLC Summary - Maguro Enterprises, LLC Responses to Comments - Maguro Enterprises, LLC Permit Renewal Application - Mt. Pleasant Waterworks Draft Permit - Mt. Pleasant Waterworks Summary - Mt. Pleasant Waterworks Presentation - Trident Capacity Use Area Update

DHEC presented the Groundwater Management Plan for the Trident Capacity Use Area to the DHEC Board for approval on May 11, 2017, and it was approved. The plan was also approved unanimously by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments on May 8, 2017, and has been supported by the Department of Natural Resources, Farm Bureau Federation, and Department of Commerce.

This initial plan outlines management strategies to establish and ensure sustainable use of groundwater resources, which will guide future DHEC permit decisions. All existing and pending permit decisions will be evaluated for consistency with the Trident Groundwater Management Plan if approved by the Board.


The Groundwater Use and Reporting Act requires that Groundwater Management Plans be developed for designated Capacity Use Areas. The Department partnered with the Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester (BCD) Council of Governments (COG) to develop the Groundwater Management Plan for the Trident Capacity Use Area. This plan allows growth and economic development in the Trident Area to continue, taking into consideration the availability of groundwater to support this growth while conserving and protecting this valuable resource.


The Trident Groundwater Management Plan has five elements:

  1. Reduction of groundwater withdrawals in areas of concentrated pumping;
  2. Review permit applications based on demonstrated reasonable use;
  3. Establish a comprehensive groundwater monitoring program;
  4. Establish a conservation education plan for the general public and existing groundwater withdrawers; and,
  5. Issue permits in accordance with the groundwater management plan and update the plan every five years to incorporate new information.

This Groundwater Management Plan was established in order to put groundwater resources to their fullest beneficial use while protecting the long-term viability of this important resource. The plan was discussed with stakeholders since early 2017 and was approved by the DHEC Board on May 11. This initial plan outlines current best practices for groundwater management and will be updated when the state water planning process (including a new groundwater model of the coastal plain) is completed in three to five years.

While the Groundwater Management Plan does not address any specific permits, it outlines a strategy that allows continued, unimpeded local economic growth, while establishing a process for issuing permits based on reasonable use that is protective of the resource.


The Department actively sought public and stakeholder input on the draft plan.

  • A notice of plan development was published in the State Register on February 24, 2017.
  • A stakeholder meeting was held in Charleston on February 23, 2017. View the presentation here.
  • A public hearing was held in North Charleston on March 29, 2017.
  • A stakeholder meeting to discuss comments submitted during the public comment period was held on April 12, 2017.

Additional Resources

Coordinator Contact

Andrea Hughes at (803) 898-4318