Rain needed to relieve stress on area ecosystems - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rain needed to relieve stress on area ecosystems

Potential rain could help ecosystems that are stressed due to the severe drought conditions in the area. (Source: WALB) Potential rain could help ecosystems that are stressed due to the severe drought conditions in the area. (Source: WALB)
Experts said that without significant rainfall soon, ecosystems dependent on moisture will get more stressed and more at risk of lasting damage. (Source: WALB) Experts said that without significant rainfall soon, ecosystems dependent on moisture will get more stressed and more at risk of lasting damage. (Source: WALB)
The Flint River and its tributaries are already stressed, making the ecosystem a difficult place to live. (Source: WALB) The Flint River and its tributaries are already stressed, making the ecosystem a difficult place to live. (Source: WALB)
Doug Wilson (Source: WALB) Doug Wilson (Source: WALB)
Flint Riverkeeper Executive Director Gordon Rogers (Source: File) Flint Riverkeeper Executive Director Gordon Rogers (Source: File)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

There should finally be some widespread rain on Wednesday for the first time in more than two months, and it is desperately needed.

Experts said that without significant rainfall soon, ecosystems dependent on moisture will get more stressed and more at risk of lasting damage.

With South Georgia in severe drought, experts said that now is when the moisture is needed to bring relief to a parched system.

"We refill the aquifer, the streams and the system starting about now and on into spring. Then, we start using it," explained Doug Wilson with the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center. 

Wilson said this year's drought hit late in the growing season sparing many farmers crop issues, on a typical year, moisture is now rebounding.

He added that if it doesn't happen soon, it could create problems.

"We've got to catch up with what we haven't had or we'll start next growing season low," said Wilson.

A low start could mean drawing more groundwater from an aquifer, that in turn, soaks up streams and creates issues for animals, like endangered species of mussels.   

The Flint River and its tributaries are already stressed, making the ecosystem a difficult place to live.    

"It affects the ability of the river to process waste. It puts stress on the fish and animal populations and plants," explained Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers. "It keeps people from being able to enjoy the river in terms of paddling." 

Rogers said that the silver lining is that low water levels make it easier to catch fish, and while it may make things trickier for anglers, a little rain would do a lot of good for the river they're casting into.  

Wilson said that so far, the drought hasn't affected groundwater levels as much as the one that occurred in 2012. 

Copyright 2016 WALB. All rights reserved.

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