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River Basin Surveys

River basin surveys are conducted to identify land and water resources, problem areas, and potential solutions for problems in a particular hydrologic basin.  In Alabama, NRCS works closely with state and local governments to complete these studies.  Major cooperators include (all will open in a new window) Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA), and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

  • The "Choctawhatchee-Pea River Basin Reconnaissance Report" was completed in 1993.  This NRCS study examined water demand, water supply, water quality, flood problems, and erosion and sedimentation issues in southeast Alabama.  This work was done for the Water Management Authority following two disastrous floods near Elba and Geneva.  The study was part of a larger effort to develop additional water supplies, and strengthen flood control measures in the Wiregrass.
  • Alabama NRCS completed a study "Agricultural Water Demand in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) Basin (1995)" for use in the on-going "water war" between Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.  The study projects future agricultural water needs to 2050 under alternative market conditions; examines the potential for water conservation; estimates the source of water withdrawal; and forecasts increased needs during drought conditions.  The information is being used in the development of a water allocation formula acceptable to all three states.
  • A study of resource problems and water needs in the Black Belt area of Alabama was completed in 1998.  This study examined rural water problems and the effect on economic development in the region.  The study focused on the rapidly developing aquacultural industry and on water shortages in small economically disadvantaged rural communities.
  • The "Choctawhatchee-Pea River Basin Reconnaissance Report" was updated in 2002 with completion of the report "Agricultural Water Demand in the Pea-Choctawhatchee-Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority Area."  This study, patterned after the ACT/ACF study, projected agricultural water needs by county (10 counties) in five-year intervals to the year 2050. Problem areas, and the need for additional water supplies, are explored.