Riverkeepers Says Drought Protection Act Needs Work

With recent rains the flow in the Flint River looks pretty good today
With recent rains the flow in the Flint River looks pretty good today
Rogers: The Flint is in real danger from the drought
Rogers: The Flint is in real danger from the drought
Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper Exec. Director
Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper Exec. Director

Conservationists are encouraged that the Flint River Drought Protection Act will be re-examined by Georgia legislators.

The state Environmental Protection Division Director is now working on proposals to improve the act while trying to protecting Georgia's leading industry, agriculture.

The Flint RiverKeeper says it's good news that state officials are working with farmers to protect the river.

With recent rains the flow in the Flint River looks pretty good today, but Flint RiverKeeper Gordon Rogers says don't be fooled. The Flint is in real danger from the drought.

"It's already been harmed. This is not a chicken little story. Low flows upstream of here, which has nothing to do with Ag. In the Piedmont, have been eroded by 70 percent since you and I were born," said Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper Exec. Director.

In South Georgia this spring many streams were at their lowest levels ever for that day. Georgia EPD Director Jud Turner has announced he wants to rework the Flint River Drought Protection Act during the next legislative session, and Rogers says that is badly needed for all Georgians.

"Because we have an act that is completely dysfunctional. It does not work. So he wants to go back into it," Rogers said.

Conservationists and farmers are meeting with Turner to retool the Drought Protection Act, so that farmers are not cut off from the water vital to their industry.

"The question is which ones right for Georgia, and particularly for Southwest Georgia. So that the economy is not whacked during a drought. So that this economic engine that we call agriculture. Which is multi billion dollars, does not take that hit during drought," Rogers said.

The Flint River is vital for drinking water for many communities south of Atlanta, and for growing the food they eat. The population of Georgia continues to grow, putting more burden on that natural resource. Conservationists say better plans to protect the Flint are needed now.

"This is not a looming danger. This is something that has already happened. We need to be thinking about restoration, improvement, as opposed to just holding the line."

Because conservationists say this will not be the last drought to grip Georgia.

Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers has been meeting with Southwest Georgians about protecting the river during the drought and he says farmers are among the most knowledgeable and eager to improve state legislation.

  • Click HERE to see historical data tracing the flow of the Flint River and its tributaries for the last 70-years.

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