Alabama Water Plan
The Alabama Rivers Alliance advocates for a comprehensive sustainable water management plan to protect our state’s natural resources, specifically our 132,000+ miles of rivers and streams.
Alabama is the only state among its neighbors without a comprehensive water management plan. The Alabama Rivers Alliance has long advocated the development of such a plan as a necessary step toward protecting our natural resources. That work has begun to gain traction.
You, as a citizen and river advocate, are an important stakeholder in this effort, and it is crucial that your voice is heard in this process. We encourage you to stay involved and respond to our Action Alerts! The hard work WILL pay off!
There is currently no mechanism in place and no agency with responsibility to protect flowing waters in our State. In 1990, the Alabama Water Resources Study Commission warned that without action, water would become the limiting factor for growth in Alabama. Our current law, the Alabama Water Resources Act, does not go far enough. While it created the Office of Water Resources, it did not give it the ability to protect water. Because of the catastrophic droughts in 2007, the Alabama Legislature formed the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee for Water Policy and Management to develop a sustainable plan for Alabama.
How the Alabama Rivers Alliance works toward the goal of a sustainable, comprehensive water management plan for Alabama:
2016 : Focus Panels
2012-2015: Alabama Rivers Alliance hosts Water Policy Symposia & attends public meetings
- Birmingham, October 9, 2014
- Tuscaloosa, September 26, 2014
- Montgomery, March 7, 2014
- Gadsden, November 15, 2013
- Dothan, August 8, 2013
- Huntsville, June 28, 2013
- Auburn, AL May 10, 2013
- Mobile, January 29, 2013
- Birmingham, August 2, 2012
Throughout August, momentum towards comprehensive water policy and management plan continued to move forward. There have been three public meetings held around the state emphasizing the need for everyone’s input to ensure Governor Bentley’s directive to create a December 2013 water management plan:
- August 15th: Auburn Water Resources Center Irrigation Summit was attended by more than 200 participants, including Alabama Rivers Alliance Program Director Mitch Reid. This meeting stressed the need for water management programs for farmers and irrigation. The leaders of this effort recognize the need for a comprehensive water management plan and are working in conjunction with the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group.
- August 23rd: Joint Legislative Committee on Water Policy and Management Meeting discussed the role of the committee in the upcoming legislative session. This meeting drew over 65 people and was held in Montgomery. Mitch Reid, Alabama Rivers Alliance program director, presented on our efforts to examine potential legislation that supports the governor’s directive. Other presentations highlighted the uncertainty of our current water laws and the necessity for a comprehensive water management plan that balances competing water interests.
The Alabama Water Agencies Working Group released a report, , and they need feedback. Specific comments on the Water Management Issues in Alabama document can be provided by letter, email, or in person to any member of the AlabamaWater Agencies Working Group (AWAWG). AWAWG member agencies are available to meet with you or your group in person to review the report and receive any input. If you are a member of a group, developing a consensus within your group will maximize the efficiency and impact of your input.
- We submitted our comments on November 1, 2012. Click here to read them.
- Here’s who to contact with your feedback:
- Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry–Glen Zorn,
- Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources–Stan Cook,
- Alabama Department of Environmental Management–Lance LeFleur,
- Geological Survey of Alabama–Pat O’Neil firstname.lastname@example.org | Bennet Bearden,
- Alabama Office of Water Resources — Brian Atkins, Brian.Atkins@adeca.alabama.gov | Tom Littlepage Tom.Littlepage@adeca.alabama.gov
- Office of the State Climatologist — John Christy, email@example.com | Dick McNider McNider@nsstc.uah.edu
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & INFORMATION
- Protect the chemical, physical and biological Integrity of Alabama’s water resources through a state “instream flow” policy
- Incorporate these flow protection into a comprehensive sustainable water management plan
- Ensure that the states plan is grounded in science, utilizes adaptive management, and includes meaningful opportunities for public participation
All Alabama citizens, alliance members and friends are important partners for this issue.