Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday released the Alabama Water Resources Management Policy Report.
"Water is one of Alabama's vital natural resources, and it must be managed and protected," Governor Robert Bentley said. "A statewide water management plan is important because water is needed for economic development, public health, drought mitigation, recreation, and environmental uses. I appreciate the members of the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group working together to study the water resources in our state."
Governor Bentley formed the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group (AWAWG) in 2012 to recommend a statewide water management action plan. The group was comprised of experts from five state agencies: The Alabama Office of Water Resources (a division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs), the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the Geological Survey of Alabama, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.
In response to the Governor's 2012 directive, the AWAWG took the following actions:
Analyzed Alabama's current water management strategies and issues
Compiled available water resources data and identified additional data necessary to provide a more complete understanding of the State's water resources
Reviewed past studies, such as the 1990 report, Water for a Quality of Life, and evaluated the implementation status of the report's recommendations
Solicited and evaluated stakeholder comments on a range of water issues that could be included in a water management plan.
Recommended a process and action plan for moving toward an enhanced statewide water management plan
Part I of the report presents the AWAWG's response to Governor Bentley's directive and proposes the Alabama Water MAP Process as Alabama's mechanism for developing and implementing an initial comprehensive statewide water management plan. Assessments are underway and will continue in order to base future water policies on thorough scientific data. Part II of the report presents discussion and policy options for 12 water issue areas identified by the AWAWG.