Alabama responds to River Alliance comments

Larry Childers, chief of the Communications and Information Division, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, responded after deadline to comments by Mitch Reid of the Alabama Rivers Alliance:

What is Alabama’s role in the lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court Oct. 1, 2013 by Florida against Georgia to request a water-sharing plan?

CHILDERS: Alabama was not named as a defendant and Alabama chose not to join the case as a plaintiff; consequently, Alabama has no role in this litigation.

Mitch Reid said that Alabama does not have a water management program. Is this true?

CHILDERS: No. The Alabama Legislature adopted the Alabama Water Resources Act in 1990 and that Act continues to govern Alabama’s Water Management Program. (Alabama) Gov. (Robert) Bentley formed a working group in 2012 to consider updates to Alabama’s water management program and that work is ongoing.

Reid says Alabama must develop a water management plan before it can effectively argue that Georgia is using too much water. Comment?

CHILDERS: The excess use of water by Atlanta is a separate issue. Atlanta continues to use water at federal reservoirs in Georgia in violation of federal law. The data shows that less water is flowing into Alabama as a result of that illegal usage.

Reid says good water planning in Alabama would benefit Florida and downstream users. Comment?

CHILDERS: Alabama’s use of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin has no adverse effect on Florida. In Florida’s original action filed against Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court, Florida stated that it “asserts no wrongful act by Alabama.