Sustainable Water Management Project Details
A major outcome of the Apalachicola Chattahoochee Flint Stakeholder (ACFS) effort is a set of recommendations for sustainable management of water throughout the basin. Sustainable water management of the ACF basin means that the full array of benefits associated with water are met for the needs of society while maintaining the ecological integrity of its water and land resources now and in the future. The issues in reaching consensus on these recommendations are complex and seem contentious. An impartial, inclusive and transparent process is needed to define the water quantity and quality needs of the basin stakeholders, evaluate alternative water management scenarios, and reach consensus on one or more management alternatives. The outcome of the process will provide the basis for the ACFS recommendations for sustainable water management.
It is not possible to overestimate the magnitude of the problem and the significance of this effort. For 20 years the three states have been in the courts and in various stages of negotiation to arrive at a water sharing agreement with no success. The economic well being of the Southeast and the sustainability of the waters in the ACF basin are intertwined. This is the first effort by a consortium of stakeholders in the three states to arrive at a technically sound solution to the problem.
While the issues may seem contentious, there is some uncertainty whether the stakeholders are in substantial conflict with each other; however, there are occasional river flows and reservoir elevations which do not meet stakeholders’ preferences. On those occasions we are wont to blame someone. Therefore, a secondary part of this endeavor is to a) determine those things amenable to control and those beyond control, and b) reduce the areas of perceived conflict.
The objective of this proposed project is to reach consensus on one or a few sustainable water quantity and quality management alternatives that best meet the needs of all ACF stakeholder groups throughout the basin while supporting ACFS values. ACFS has engaged a contractor team which will guide ACFS through the technical aspects of reducing conflict and reaching consensus on these management alternatives.