The Department of Community Affairs’ Commissioner Mike Beatty today designated Newton County as Georgia’s twenty-fifth WaterFirst Community. Office of Planning and Environmental Management Director, Jim Frederick was on hand to deliver the announcement at a ceremony attended by community leaders and state officials at The Center in Covington.

“Newton County joins an exclusive group of communities committed to water stewardship and resource management.  Earning this designation took a lot of effort and teamwork.  The staff, citizens and leaders of Newton County have proven that working together can have a big impact on the community’s water resources,” said Frederick. 

Newton County’s WaterFirst program includes regional coordination of water resources, a community water education program, buffer requirements (regulations that designate how to “buffer” water resources from potentially harmful runoff from new development) and water planning to ensure the continued quality of Newton’s water in the future.


The WaterFirst® Community Program, led by the Department of Community Affairs Office of Planning and Environmental Management, is a voluntary partnership between local governments, state and federal agencies and other organizations working to improve the management and protection of shared water resources. For more information about DCA’s WaterFirst program, visit:

Newton County (including its municipalities and the water/sewer authority) is the 25th entity to receive a WaterFirst® Community designation.  Previously designated WaterFirst® communities include the City of Braselton, Cobb County, Cobb/ Marietta Water Authority, Columbus Waterworks/ Columbus Consolidated Government, City of Cornelia, Coweta County, Forsyth County, City of Gainesville, Garden City, City of Griffin, Gwinnett County, City of Hartwell, City of Hinesville, Henry County, City of Loganville, Oconee County, City of Rome, City of Roswell, City of Savannah, Douglasville/Douglas County WSA, City of Tifton/ Tift County, City of Tybee Island and City of Winder.

About the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) partners with communities to help create a climate of success for Georgia’s families and businesses. DCA does this through its three core functions: community and economic development; local government assistance; and safe and affordable housing. Community and economic development programs include a variety of resources and incentives designed to help communities spur private sector job creation and to help them meet their development goals. Local government assistance programs include planning, research, rural development, downtown development, volunteerism, building codes, and solid waste reduction. Housing programs include special financing for first-time homebuyers, development resources and rental assistance to benefit low and moderate income Georgia families and seniors, and homelessness prevention. For more information, please visit the DCA website at