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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.

Additional Resources

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