The 2018 Water Resources Conference took place in Columbia, SC. Hundreds of researchers and legislators from across the state met to discuss research findings and the future of water in South Carolina.
I'm Kathy Woodard with ClemsonUniversity Public Service and Agriculture and I'm here at the South Carolina Water Resources Conference in Columbia, South Carolina. And I have with us this morning one of our panel speakers from our earlier session this
morning, it's representative Davey Hyatt from the South Carolina legislature. Welcome, thank you for spending some time with us today. Thank you for having me. Thank you for being willing to do an interview afterwards. Well it's a it's a privilege to talk to people about water issues. Well, very good and I'm glad that you were able to give us some time today. Quick question that I have for you is what do you think, from your perspective and your vantage point, are the most pressing issues we have in the state? Well, I think the first thing is we’ve got to be able to balance our growth with our resources. We all know that the state of South Carolina is growing at a very fast pace right now. We've been very blessed to have a lot of people move into our state, a lot of jobs being created in this great state, and so we’ve got to be able to balance who we are, what we have with what we are going to be in the in the days ahead, ten years, twenty years down the road. And just make sure that we have the resources to supply to these folks that are coming here. And what do you think are probably some of the most important research needs that we have? I know we work at Clemson University we're a research institution and we work closely with a number of partner agencies related to water resources management, what should be some things we focus on? Well, the first thing is we when I firstgot here in 2004 we didn't have a didn’t have a water plan in place. One of my first questions I asked when I got on the agriculture committee was, "well, how much water do we own?" and they kind of looked to me like "well, we really don’t know we'll get back to you" and so we’ve been in the process since about 2004 trying to figure out what we own and we're getting there, there's a process, there is a plan that's being finalized now by DNR with a lot of stakeholders involved. I think Clemson University has someone sitting at the table there in that process. And it's just one of those things we just need to know what we have, we need to know who's using it, we need to make sure that we're using it wisely, resourcefully, we need to make sure that those folks that are going to use it down the road will do the same thing, whether it be through legislation or whether it be just through common sense, we just need to make sure that we’re doing the right things as a General Assembly to make sure that the folks in years to come after we're gone or making sure that South Carolina still has the resources that they need. So from the legislative perspective, what's your next step related to water resource management? Well, every year that I've been on that - and I presently serve as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, so presently every single year that I've been on there, we've dealt with some type of water-related issue, and so I've been told already that beginning in January, we'll be dealing with some other issues related to water. The key to it is that we just, my personal opinion is, we need to wait on this study, make sure this study is what we're wanting, we need to take, once we get the study we need to, we need to take a good hard look at it as to how does it, as I said inside on the panel while ago it's part of the puzzle. It's a it's a piece of the puzzle to the state of South Carolina. We've got the business sector, you know how do the businesses fit into this state, how do the environmental issues fit into this state, how do water issues fit into the state, how to recreational issues fit into this state, and so that's all the pieces of the puzzle that we need to make sure that we're doing it the right way, we don't go out there and make some knee-jerk reaction to to this proposal that or this plan that we're going to be getting hopefully within a year and once we get this plan in place, we just need to take a good hard look as to how does it fit into the plan of South Carolina. Well, thank you. Thanks for the work that you do and for the time you've given us at this conference. Well, thank you for what you do and I know Clemson University plays a vital role in all that we do and being from Pickens it's right, my next-door neighbor so I'm proud to say that I’m from Pickens County as well. All right, thank you so much. Thank you.