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Recommendations for a Statewide Water Plan By: Ewan Hadgraft Alabama Rivers Alliance Birmingham-Southern College.

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Presentation on theme: "Recommendations for a Statewide Water Plan By: Ewan Hadgraft Alabama Rivers Alliance Birmingham-Southern College."— Presentation transcript:

1 Recommendations for a Statewide Water Plan By: Ewan Hadgraft Alabama Rivers Alliance Birmingham-Southern College

2 My Program The Birmingham-Southern College Urban Environmental Studies Internship program Francesca Gross- The Alabama Rivers Alliance was my host organization for ten weeks The Alabama Rivers Alliance is a statewide, nonprofit, water protection organization

3 Research Focus Who issues the authority to withdraw water in state? - Is there a difference in who issues authority on Surface versus ground water withdrawals? - What state law establishes that authority? - What exemptions exist? Do they use a permitting system? If not, what do they use? How does the state or state agency pay for the program?

4 Alabama’s Current Water System Current regulation does not protect minimum required daily flows (MDL) Existing practices not sustainable in light of rising population and demand in Alabama – farmers looking to irrigate more land to meet demand Sound scientific data needed in order to adopt a water management plan – in addition, scientific data must be constantly reaffirmed with the development of future technologies

5 Other State Water Systems Water plan that manages the assessment, allocation, and equitable distribution of the state water supply Registration or permitting system to help regulate the program Accurate data recorded throughout the process of creating and maintaining a water management plan

6 Other States Water Systems Authority Michigan- Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (Mich. Comp. Laws § to (2008)) Connecticut- Connecticut General Statutes 25-33p Mississippi- Chapter 3 ( )- Water Resources; Regulation and Control Maryland Arkansas- Power of Commission Regarding Waters (Ark. Stat. Ann. § (1985))

7 Recommendations Constantly and effectively manage public awareness and involvement Scientific assessment needed throughout implementation – However, this can pose a problem to progress if drawn out Permitting or registration system to accurately track, and regulate the withdrawal of water

8 Public Involvement Public awareness one of the most important issues Frequent public hearings and comment opportunities necessary Without constant participation of the people that the water plan will effect, it can be very difficult to implement Done well by Connecticut and Maryland

9 Connecticut Regularly held public hearings and petition available through multiple avenues Water Planning Council (WPC) consists of 4 members from 3 state agencies WPC established three committees to investigate specific issues Submitted an Issues Work Plan to the Legislature on January 28, 2002

10 Maryland The Department of the Environment heads water management program Focus on outreach and assistance activities to address multiple issues involving water regulatory programs Environmental Boards comprised of three State licensing boards used to license and certify organizations

11 Data Collection and Assessment Ample data must be collected throughout the process Collection of data in preparation against drought or flooding Good Example: Mississippi

12 Mississippi The Office of Land and Water Resources, Division of Permitting and Monitoring Maintains network of stream gauging stations – used to establish and maintain stage versus discharge ratings on various streams in the state. Establish and monitor minimum lake levels on all naturally occurring lakes – with diversion permits that are located in the Delta region of Mississippi

13 Mississippi Program focuses on issuance and renewal of permits for both types of withdrawal Allows impoundment of water Maintenance of an observation well network throughout Mississippi - to monitor water levels associated with the major aquifers

14 Registration and Permitting A combination of both registration and permitting shown to be effective to both Arkansas and Michigan's water programs Critical to the application of a successful water plan Example: Arkansas Accurately measures the amount of water being withdrawn and for what purpose employs a registration system with yearly withdrawal fees

15 Arkansas Registration system monitors all types of water withdrawal Application and annual fees pay for the program Permits info requirements: annual amount, maximum rate of diversion, and water use Length of permit based on cost of project, and time for the project owner to recoup costs

16 Michigan Combination of reporting and permitting programs for surface and ground water withdrawals Water withdrawals over 100,000 gpd must be reported 2,000,000 gpd and above must be permitted Agricultural withdrawals reported to the Michigan Department of Agriculture Online water withdrawal assessment tool

17 Conclusions Maryland’s focus on outreach and education allowed for a smooth transition towards their own water management plan Mississippi devoted Department of Environmental Protection to the upkeep of monitoring equipment and accurate consistent data regarding its water program Michigan's combination of registration and permitting different approach to water appropriation based upon amount withdrawn

18 Future Research This research was done over ten weeks and therefore is not all inclusive A further in depth study of other States may reveal other possible options for the creation of an effective water management plan In a future study of nationwide water regulation, I would like to gain further depth of many of the topics covered in this presentation More specific economic data would be useful in the actual implementation of a state wide water plan, however, I was unable to find such data in such a short period of time

19 Contact Information Ewan Hadgraft


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