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PUBLIC LAW 91-602 A Unique Concept for Water Resource Development and Protection Barbara Gibson, Executive Director Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers.

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Presentation on theme: "PUBLIC LAW 91-602 A Unique Concept for Water Resource Development and Protection Barbara Gibson, Executive Director Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers."— Presentation transcript:

1 PUBLIC LAW A Unique Concept for Water Resource Development and Protection Barbara Gibson, Executive Director Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority Troy, Alabama October 14, 2005

2 PUBLIC LAW Adopted by the State of Alabama Legislature in May, 1991 Provides for the creation of watershed management authorities in the State Purpose: “developing and executing plans and programs relating to any phase of conservation of water, water usage, flood prevention, flood control, water pollution control, wildlife habitat protection, agricultural and timberland protection, erosion prevention, and control of erosion, floodwater and sediment damages” Non-regulatory, however, the law provides numerous powers and authorities

3 POWERS AND AUTHORITIES  The Board of Directors of a Watershed Management Authority has power to:  Acquire lands or rights-of-way by purchase, gift, grant, bequest or through condemnation proceedings.  Construct, improve, operate and maintain such structures and projects as may be necessary for the exercise of any authorized function of the Authority.  Borrow money as is necessary for the performance of its functions

4  Make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary to the exercise of its powers.  Act as agent for the State of Alabama or any of its agencies or the United States or any of its agencies or any county or municipality in connection with the acquisition, construction, operation or administration of any project within the boundaries of the Authority.  Issue, negotiate and sell bonds upon approval of the State Finance Director.  Accept money, services, or materials from national, state, or local governments.

5 STEPS FOR CREATION OF A WATERSHED MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY A watershed management authority may be formed in any watershed area of the State. Land area in any watershed management authority must encompass at least fifty (50) square miles, must be contiguous and must lie within a defined watershed. Two or more watersheds may be included in a watershed management authority

6 Twenty-five (25) or more residents, eighteen years of age or older, may file a petition with the Board of Supervisors of the Soil and Water Conservation District in the counties in which said proposed Authority lies. Within thirty (30) days after said petition has been filed, due notice should be given of a proposed hearing creating said watershed management authority.

7 The Board of Supervisors, after said hearing, shall determine and define by description the boundaries of the Authority and said territory shall constitute a Watershed Management Authority. The proposed name shall include references to the geographic features of the area encompassing the watershed management authority.

8 BOARD OF DIRECTORS The Board of Directors shall include at least one resident from each County located within the boundaries of the Authority. The Board of Directors shall include at least one resident from each County located within the boundaries of the Authority. The Board of Directors may be comprised of “Resident” and “At-Large Directors” which shall serve terms no greater than four years. The Board of Directors may be comprised of “Resident” and “At-Large Directors” which shall serve terms no greater than four years. Members of the Board of Directors shall receive no salaries but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenditures incurred in the performance of their duties. Members of the Board of Directors shall receive no salaries but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenditures incurred in the performance of their duties.

9 Agency Background January 1989 Choctawhatchee-Pea River Improvement Association December 1989 Choctawhatchee-Pea Rivers Conservancy District May 1991 Legislative Act provided for the creation of watershed management authorities The Choctawhatchee-Pea Rivers Watershed Management Authority became the first and only watershed management authority created under this law and is the only state-funded watershed management authority in the State of Alabama. January 1997 Inclusion of the Alabama portion of the Yellow River Watershed and the agency became known as the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority

10 Watershed Area All or a portion of ten Southeastern Counties Barbour Bullock Coffee Covington Crenshaw Dale Geneva Henry Houston Pike Total Land Area Approximately 2,328,000 Acres

11 VISION STATEMENT “Develop and execute plans and programs relating to water resource management for citizens within the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers watersheds to ensure water resources are wisely developed, properly used and enhanced for present and future generations” “Develop and execute plans and programs relating to water resource management for citizens within the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers watersheds to ensure water resources are wisely developed, properly used and enhanced for present and future generations”

12 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT ELEMENTS Water Quantity Water Quantity Water Quality Water Quality Flood Control Flood Control Education Education

13 HISTORY OF STUDIES  1990 – 1992 Reconnaissance Report – Choctawhatchee and Pea River Basins Study U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District (COE)  1990 – 1993 Choctawhatchee-Pea River Basin Cooperative Study – Reconnaissance Report - Soil Conservation Service - USDA

14 studies continued:  1994 – 1996 Hydrologic Characterization of the Water Resources of the Choctawhatchee-Pea Rivers Watershed Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA)  Implementation Assessment for Water Resource Availability, Protection, and Utilization for the Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watersheds – (GSA)

15 studies continued: Surface Water Assessment for the Yellow River Watershed – (GSA) –2002 – An Isotopic and Geochemical Assessment of Water from the Aquifers of Cretaceous Age (GSA) –2001 – 2002 Needs Assessment – Corps of Engineers (COE)

16 studies continued:  2001 – 2002 Surface Water Assessment for the Yellow River Watershed – (GSA)  2002 An Isotopic and Geochemical Assessment of Water from the Aquifers of Cretaceous Age (GSA)  2001 – 2002 Needs Assessment - COE

17 studies continued:  Wetlands Assessment of Five Proposed Reservoir Sites – COE  2001 – 2002 Agricultural Water Demand – NRCS  2002 – 2004 Water Supply Alternatives Study for Southeast Alabama – COE

18 studies continued:  2003 – 2004 Surface Water Assessment for Lightwood Knot Creek and Lake Frank Jackson, Northern Covington County – (GSA)  2004 Water Quality Assessment for Little Choctawhatchee River and Blackwood Creek – (GSA)  2004 – 2005 Determination of Stress on Southeast Alabama Aquifers and Estimation of Adequacy of Groundwater Sources – (GSA)

19 studies continued:  2004 – 2005 Lake Jackson Hydrogeologic Assessment – (GSA)  2005 – 2006 Study of Direct Withdrawal from Choctawhatchee River near Bellwood, Alabama – (COE) *All studies will be available in GIS format*

20 EXAMPLES OF DIRECT RESULTS Basin-Wide Flood Warning System Rehab of levees in Elba and Geneva Ozark Well Water Supply Shortages in Wiregrass Area Educator Workshops Groundwater Festivals County Projects GIS Data Base Comprehensive Watershed Information

21 ADVANTAGES AND UNIQUENESS Distinction of being a State agency Knowledge of local communities Cooperation with and from local governments and citizens Assistance from area legislators Association with governmental agencies Opportunities to leverage funds

22 Contact Information: Choctawhatchee, Pea and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority 400 Pell Avenue Collegeview Building Troy, Alabama (334) Fax: (334)

23 Do you have any EASY questions?


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