Town of Thunderbolt designated as Georgia’s
twenty-ninth WaterFirst® Community

(3/9/16 – ATLANTA) – “Impressive for such a small town,” said the state’s WaterFirst® reviewers when asked to describe the Town of Thunderbolt’s team. At a ceremony filled with Thunderbolt’s team Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Community Development Division Director Rusty Haygood announced the designation of the state’s twenty-ninth WaterFirst Community. Many community leaders and local and state officials were in attendance at the ceremony held March 9 at the Thunderbolt City Council meeting.

“Thunderbolt has joined an exclusive group of communities committed to water stewardship,” said Haygood. “The state’s WaterFirst communities have a demonstrated track record of implementing solidly-developed strategic plans that support long-term excellence in water resource management.”

The WaterFirst Community Program, led by the DCA’s 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.

Haygood added that earning this designation took a lot of effort and required significant teamwork and that the review team was especially impressed by Thunderbolt’s tree inventory and tree ordinance. He continued by saying that the city has a small but impressive staff committed to environmental excellence through their devotion to countywide activities that manage and protect water resources and that they have created an enhanced land development process to ensure the community’s key issues are addressed.

“Today, DCA is very pleased to recognize the staff, citizens and leaders of Thunderbolt for their stewardship of our water resources by designating them as Georgia’s twenty-ninth WaterFirst Community,” announced Haygood.

Previously designated WaterFirst communities include the City of Auburn, Athens-Clark County, City of Braselton, Cobb County, Cobb/Marietta Water Authority, Columbus Waterworks/ Columbus Consolidated Government, City of Cornelia, Coweta County, Forsyth County, Fulton County, City of Gainesville, City of Garden City, City of Griffin, Gwinnett County, City of Hartwell, Henry County/Henry County W&S Authority, City of Hinesville, City of Loganville, Newton County and its municipalities, 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.

For more information about DCA’s WaterFirst program, visit



About the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA):

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) partners with communities to create a climate of success for Georgia’s families and businesses through community and economic development, local government assistance, and safe and affordable housing. Using state and federal resources, DCA helps communities spur private job creation, implement planning, develop downtowns, generate affordable housing solutions, and promote volunteerism. DCA also helps qualified low- and moderate-income Georgians buy homes, rent housing, and prevent foreclosure and homelessness. For more information, visit


Jana Wiggins, Director of Marketing & Communications
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
(o) 404-679-0661; (c) 770-883-7971

Deatre Denion, WaterFirst Program Coordinator
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
(o) 912-704-4136;