Inter-basin transfer — the act of taking water from one available source to supplement another source — continues to be the primary issue at hand. When those upstream take more water than necessary out of the basins that feed Alabama’s rivers and waterways, it creates a problem. Alabama needed a permanent fix, and state and federal leaders, along with me, sought to do something about it.
One major issue has been the lack of a comprehensive, written water plan for the state. This issue of water rights is both a state and federal problem due to the impact on interstate commerce and individuals’ livelihoods. With something as wide-reaching as water policy, the Legislature decided in 2008 that a Joint Legislative Committee was needed.
As a member of the Joint Legislative Committee on Water Policy and Management, I am excited that we are finally moving forward on the development of a statewide water-management plan. This plan will provide the foundation on which we base our effort to protect our valuable resource of water from “claims” of our neighbors to the east. A plan is necessary so all available state and federal resources can be rallied and directed to achieve the necessary goals.
We have worked for years to put everything in place to create this crucial document that will fix an important missing link as we continue a strong effort to protect our resources. This report, due to the Legislature Dec. 1, will map out how best to defend our state’s water going forward. Adequate access will continue to be an issue for the future. We must have all the necessary tools to defend our position.
Sen. Gerald Dial