The Advocacy Committee primarily works on the local level to protect the Upper Oconee watershed. We monitor local ordinance making bodies such as Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, Oconee County Board of Commissioners, and the Watkinsville City Council.

Want to learn how water policy is made in Athens-Clarke County? Check out this info-graphic (click on the image above).

The Advocacy Committee is engaging in the following issues:

Service Delivery Plan of 2015
The Service Delivery Plan specifies the activities of Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Public Utilities and Transportation & Public Works departments will take to deliver safe drinking water, treat sanitary waste, and mitigate stormwater runoff for the next twenty years.

UOWN reviewed the plan and discovered two areas of concern: extension of sewers into the greenbelt and expenditure of $20 million for water reservoir pre-planning.

The Advocacy committee sent a comment letter to the ACC Mayor & Commission, created a press release, and delivered comments in person.

Non-potable Water Reuse
(coming soon)


SB116 – Reduction of Stormwater Fees

SB116, Sponsored by Senator F. Ginn (district 47), proposes that property owners be allowed to opt out of stormwater fees if they can prove their property is “water neutral”.

UOWN joins the Georgia Water Coalition, the Georgia Municipal Association, the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, and the Athens-Clarke County Government  in opposing this bill.

Read our position statement.

Would you like to be UOWN’s champion on the issue of stormwater fees? Contact us via

Coal Ash Pond De-watering

Georgia Power Company is proceeding with plans to close 29 ash ponds at 11 of its coal-fired generation plants across the state with inadequate oversight from EPD. These plans include efforts to drain water from those ponds and discharge it to the state’s
waterways. Ash pond water is known to contain toxic substances like arsenic, mercury, lead and selenium.

Of concern to UOWN is the closing of Plant Branch in Eatonton. Georgia EPD is allowing Georgia Power to release treated water from coal ash ponds into Lake Sinclair. UOWN has attended EPD meetings on the topic and continues to follow this issue. 

Additional details are available from the following sources:

Would you like to be UOWN’s champion regarding Coal Ash Ponds? Contact us via


Clean Water Act – Redefinition of Waters of the U.S.

(coming soon)


We are in the process of updating this page. If you wish more information or to become involved with UOWN’s advocacy efforts, please contact us via