Alabama is blessed with many natural resources, but none is more important than water. Our rivers, lakes and streams sustain our communities, support industry and jobs, generate power, irrigate crops, provide critical transportation links, maintain wildlife and supply boundless opportunities for recreation.
When the Alabama territory was organized in 1817, Governor William Wyatt Bibb determined that the most suitable image for the official seal would be a map of our extensive rivers. Today, the Great Seal of Alabama continues to attest to the importance of these vital arteries.
Accustomed to an environment with abundant water, most of us assume that an adequate supply will be available to meet our needs. In recent years, however, large sections of our state have experienced periods of extreme drought, highlighting the need for responsible water management plans, which will help us ensure a plentiful supply in years to come.
As Alabama’s population grows and our economy expands, so does the demand for water. Our water resources are substantial, but not limitless. As we harness this resource for the needs of today, we must do so with an eye toward tomorrow.
Governor Bentley Releases Alabama Water Resources Management Policy Report
April 17, 2014: Click here to read the news release.
Click here to read the report.
There was a stakeholder meeting held on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 in the Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce (CASIC) building in Auburn. The agenda and presentations are provided in the links below:
Click here for the April 5, 2016 Meeting Agenda.
Click here for the link to the meeting overview presentation provided by Dr. Nick Tew, AWAWG Chair.
Click here for a presentation on the status of the Riparian and Other Legal Issues Focus Panel provided by Bennett Bearden, Riparian Focus Panel Chair.
Click here for a presentation on the status of the Enhanced COUs, Permitting and IBTs Focus Panel provided by Tom Littlepage, COU Focus Panel Chair.
Click here for a presentation on the status of the Instream Flows Focus Panel provided by Pat O’Neil, Instream Flows Focus Panel Chair.
Click here for a presentation on the status of the Conservation, Efficiency, and Reuse Focus Panel provided by Cameron Handyside, Water Conservation Focus Panel Chair.
Click here for a presentation on the status of the Local and Regional Planning Focus Panel provided by Marlon Cook, Local and Regional Planning Focus Panel Chair.
Governor Bentley's vision for collaborative, responsible water management
Governor Robert Bentley believes that a resource as vital as water cannot be taken for granted if we expect our state to prosper and Alabamians to continue to enjoy an excellent quality of life. Being a good steward of our water heritage and managing it wisely is the only way to ensure future abundance for ourselves and for the generations to come. We all want our state to continue to thrive; as long as we work together toward our common goals, Alabama will flourish.
In August 2011, to begin developing an overview of water issues and activities, Governor Bentley called together four agencies of state government with water resource responsibilities. Following a preliminary briefing from the group, the Governor decided in April 2012 to continue and expand this work by formalizing the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group. Soon thereafter, a fifth agency, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries was added, resulting in the group as currently constituted.
Governor Bentley's letter to the group
Governor Bentley's letter to Agriculture and Industries
Mission of the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group
Governor Bentley directed the working group to recommend an action plan and timeline for implementing a statewide water management plan. The recommended action plan is due by December 1, 2013, which will give the group time to create a comprehensive database of Alabama’s water resources and conduct meetings to gather input from stakeholders that have an interest in water resource issues.
The work of the Alabama Water Agencies Working Group is coordinated by a chairman appointed by the Governor. Six subcommittees were created to help carry out the group’s responsibilities.
Click here to learn more about the subcommittees.
Water issues report submitted to Governor Bentley
The Alabama Water Agencies Working Group prepared and submitted a report to the Governor outlining major water resource issues in Alabama. The report identified and summarized a dozen key water issues and policy options. The group concluded that a water management plan needs to be developed so that Alabama can address these issues responsibly and effectively. The report is intended to provide a common base of information to assist various water agencies and others interested in water resource matters to take the first steps toward resolving policy issues and creating a comprehensive water management plan for Alabama.
Click here to read the entire report.
The "Water Management Issues in Alabama" report was sent out to 247 individuals and organizations inviting all interested parties to provide comments on the issues presented in the report and any other issues they considered relevant. During August, September and October 2012, Alabama Water Agencies Working Group members attended numerous stakeholder meetings involving several hundred participants. Comments from a total of 70 individuals and organizations have been received since October 1, 2012 have been received and can be viewed or downloaded.
Click here to visit the "Stakeholder Comments" page.
Water Policy and Management Joint Legislative Committee
Send us your comments or questions
Every Alabamian has a stake in the steps taken to ensure our water resources are managed wisely, so we encourage your questions and suggestions. Updates and announcements will be posted to this site, but you may contact us at any time with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.