Press Statement: SELC and ARA Support Governor’s Announcement of Alabama Water Resources Management Policy Report

Montgomery, AL –The Southern Environmental Law Center and Alabama Rivers Alliance released a statement today in response to Governor Bentley’s announcement of the Alabama Water Resources Management Policy Report.

“After years of advocating for a comprehensive water plan to strengthen Alabama’s position for negotiating the water needs of local communities, businesses, and ecosystems, we support the Governor’s decision to move ahead with the report,” said Mitch Reid of Alabama Rivers Alliance. “This is a crucial step toward protecting the streams, rivers, and lakes that provide for this great state.”

Throughout decades of a tri-state water conflict and ongoing litigation with Georgia and Florida, Alabama has remained the only state of the three without a comprehensive water plan. The Southern Environmental Law Center and Alabama Rivers Alliance have continued to work alongside elected officials and state agencies to provide stakeholder input on the plan.

The groups’ recommendations include implementing a robust stakeholder process that brings all water users to the table, decreasing reliance on expensive, large-scale projects like reservoirs and dams that severely disrupt the ecological balance of rivers and streams in favor of improved conservation and efficiency efforts, and implementing flow standards to better protect the rivers and streams as well as all water users throughout the watersheds. 

“Access to clean water is a luxury often taken for granted, and it is essential that the state take an active role in safeguarding the water sources its citizens use to drink, recreate, and farm with,” said Gil Rogers of the Southern Environmental Law Center. “We look forward to reviewing the Governor’s report.”

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The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of nearly 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use. www.SouthernEnvironment.org

The Alabama Rivers Alliance is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of waters in the state of Alabama. Networking over 750 individuals and fifty grassroots water protection organizations across Alabama at the local level and advocating smart planning and reasonable laws at the state level, ARA works to ensure healthy waters for future generations by empowering the citizens of Alabama to protect Alabama’s waterways. Several of its member groups specifically work to protect the health of the Coosa River. www.AlabamaRivers.org

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