FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 23, 2019
For More Information: Kelly Marshall | 205-322-6395| [email protected]
REPRESENTATIVE NEIL RAFFERTY INTRODUCES THE WATER CONSERVATION AND SECURITY ACT
BIRMINGHAM, Ala – Thursday, April 18, Representative Neil Rafferty (D-54) introduced HB 476, the Water Conservation and Security Act, which will improve Alabama’s system of water management to better protect our rivers and streams for the quality of Alabama’s drinking water and the quality of life for future generations.
The bill requires the State to protect the flow of water in Alabama’s 132,000 miles of rivers and streams. It also gives more protection to Alabama’s waters the next time there is a water shortage or drought.
HB 476 will:
- Protect Alabama’s way of life for generations to come by safeguarding the state’s 132,000 miles of rivers and streams
- Require the state to protect the flow of water in each watershed
- Provide a science-based narrative standard for protecting stream flows
- Ensure that water resources are protected during times of drought or water shortage and clearly defines the conditions that would allow the state to step in
- Protect water users that conserve water ahead of time through conservation credits
- Make key changes to the existing Alabama Water Resources Act to ensure that stream protections are coordinated with other management activities
- Preserve water supply for drinking, irrigating crops, recreation and wildlife
“Currently, the state lacks the proper authority to step in when water overuse threatens the security of Alabama’s water resources,” Rafferty said. “We need to protect our water now by safeguarding drinking water, farmers, and recreation that is a way of life in Alabama”
The Alabama Water Conservation and Security Act will modify existing state law to require the Alabama Office of Water Resources to balance water withdrawals with the protection of Alabama’s water resources. This bill clearly defines the conditions that will trigger state action to protect water resources. With this, Alabama will be ready to meet future water shortages and keep our rivers and streams healthy and flowing.
The bill will likely be assigned to the House Committee Agriculture and Forestry Committee.
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