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October 08, 2012   Email to Friend 

WATER RESOURCE PLANNING COMMITTEE DISCUSSES POSSIBLE STATE WATER POLICY
Mary Johnson
(334) 235-1406
October 08, 2012

Autauga County farmer Andy Wendland and Dale County farmer Jerry Byrd prepare for the Sept. 20 meeting of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Water Resource Planning Committee.
MONTGOMERY, Ala., - Members of the Alabama Farmers Federation Water Resource Planning Committee discussed the issues regarding the potential development of a statewide water plan with representatives from the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group (AWAWG) at a Sept. 20 meeting at the Alfa Main Office.

“Our primary concern is having a stable, consistent supply of water when we need it,” said Brian Glenn, committee chairman. “We’re just like everybody else. When we turn on the spigot, we expect the water to be there.”

Of greatest concern for Alabama farmers is the inclusion of irrigation in a comprehensive water policy and the need for scientific, unbiased data collection. AWAWG representatives agreed on the need for research on water usage and availability.

The estimated cost to the state for an Alabama water assessment is $4-8 million, based on similar studies in surrounding states. According to AWAWG representatives, all states bordering Alabama have established their own water policies.

AWAWG chairman and general counsel of the Geological Survey of Alabama Bennett Bearden is currently hosting meetings across Alabama to speak with stakeholders in the water policy development process. He said permitting, in-stream flows and interbasin transfers seem to be the greatest issues of concern. Access to water supply for irrigation and water (riparian) rights were also discussed.

Bearden encouraged an open dialogue with Alabama citizens regarding the water policy development process and requested input sent to AWAWG by Nov. 1. To submit a comment or concern, email water@adeca.alabama.gov. For updates and announcements about AWAWG, visit www.ADECA.Alabama.gov/AWAWG.

AWAWG, established by Gov. Robert Bentley in August 2011, is made-up of representatives from five state agencies: GSA; Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Office of Water Resources (OWR); the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI); Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR); and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).


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