Watershed Protection emphasizes measures to protect our water resource systems at the macro level. Watershed protection includes maintaining the sources of our waters such as the tributaries, wetlands, and aquifers, while safeguarding both terrestrial and aquatic imperiled wildlife species. Examples of this policy include enforceable regulations to protect specific resources like stream bank vegetation, sensitive habitats, wetlands and groundwater, which contribute to healthy stream flow.


Hydropower Relicensing

Privately-owned hydropower dams are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Each hydro project is licensed by FERC for a term of 30-50 years.  There are numerous hydropower dams in Alabama going through the FERC relicensing process. The Alliance participates in the relicensing process, which can last five years or more, to ensure a fair balance of power and non-power uses of the water resources and ensure environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act are upheld.

Photo of Weiss Dam on the Coosa River. The damming of the Coosa resulted in the largest mass extinction in North American history. Photo by April Hall.


For more information about hydropower, see the links below:

“Just How ‘Green’ is Hydropwer?”

An examination of the relative risks and benefits of hydropower

For an illustration of how hydropower dams can impact our environment, visit DamEffects.org.

Current hydropower projects in the relicensing process with FERC project number:

  • Coosa Project P-2146 Alabama Power’s projects including Weiss, Neely Henry, Logan Martin, Mitchell, Lay, Jordan, Bouldin
  • Black Warrior P-2165 Alabama Power’s projects including Smith and Bankhead
  • Lake Martin P-349 Alabama Power project on the Tallapoosa River

For more information about the relicensing process and how to get involved, please visit the Hydropower Reform Coalition website.

For more information on the Alabama Power relicensing projects, please visit the project websites.