Abstracts

Office of Land and Water Resources: Overview of Water Use In Mississippi

Author(s): Hawkins, C.

Currently, there are approximately 23,000 groundwater withdrawal permits and 2,600 surface water permits that are active in the state. Seventy-six percent of these permits are issued for irrigation purposes, with the other twenty-four percent leaning heavily on public water supply and other various beneficial uses. The Mississippi Water Law states that all water, whether occurring on the surface of the ground or underneath the surface of the ground, is among the basic resources of this state, belongs to the people of this state, and is subject to regulation. The general welfare of the people of the State of Mississippi requires that the water resources of the state be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable, that the waste or unreasonable use, or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented, and that the conservation of such water be exercised. With only a few exceptions, anyone who wishes to use the waters of the state must obtain a permit from the Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board. The OLWR is charged with the task of permitting all groundwater and surface water withdrawals in the state. Other laws that impact the use of water in Mississippi include water well licensing and impoundments, which are also regulated by the OLWR.

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