ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's government is interested in tapping into the water that's created when it invests in local reservoirs and wells.
A water supply program created by Gov. Nathan Deal recently changed the criteria on which it will consider investing more than $40 million in funds meant to increase the state's water supply.
Because of Georgia law, state officials previously sought real estate or an ownership stake in a water supply project when making investments. That land or ownership share could then be bought by others, allowing the state to recoup its money.
Going forward, state officials said they will give projects a higher ranking if Georgia's government can utilize the resulting water for needs such as mitigating droughts, protecting endangered species, or boosting the flow of depleted rivers or streams.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)