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. This year, that work has begun to gain traction.
In April of 2012, Governor Bentley issued a directive to five state agencies to put together a comprehensive water management plan by December 2013. This directive included a requirement for the agencies to include stakeholder input. 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. Click here to see ADEM Director LeFleur's list of ways
in which you can provide your input, and stay tuned for emails and updates from the Alabama Rivers Alliance.
Water Policy Symposia
The Alabama Rivers Alliance staff are traveling around the state speaking to citizens about the need for a comprehensive state water policy and conducting symposia which all Alabama citizens, stakeholders, and elected officials, who want their voices heard in the discussion about the development of a comprehensive water management plan for our state, should attend. Now that the governor has taken leadership and put this process into motion, we, as concerned citizens, have a responsibility to play our part. We must insist on water for all, not water for a select few! We must also insist on the protection of flows in our rivers to ensure that “clean water for all” continues to be possible for many generations to come.
Click below for information from recent symposia:
What's happened in the summer of 2012?
Throughout August, momentum towards comprehensive water policy and management plan has 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 over 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 has released a report, Water Management Issues in Alabama, 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.