JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) -- The underground aquifer that coastal Georgia relies on for drinking water is considered so pristine that state lawmakers 15 years ago declared it off-limits to well drillers looking for a place to stash extra water for a drought.
Not anymore. Georgia lawmakers allowed a moratorium protecting the Floridan aquifer in 11 coastal counties to expire July 1. It banned a technology other states have turned to for drought relief that gathers river water in times of plentiful rainfall and injects it underground to save for times of extreme dryness.
Environmental groups and coastal residents back in 1999 feared such wells would pollute the exceptionally pure water found under coastal Georgia's portion of the vast Floridan aquifer. Now some lawmakers are attempting to reinstate the ban and make it permanent.