Experts tackle irrigation expansion while protecting Wiregrass rivers

Local News

NEW BROCKTON, Ala. (WDHN) — Auburn University professor Dr. Eve Brantley spoke about the need to implement plans and programs concerning environmental protections of the Pea and Choctawhatchee rivers, which flow through the Wiregrass to the Gulf of Mexico.

Alabama trails surrounding neighboring states like Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia as far as agricultural irrigation.

“The goal of this project is to determine in certain watersheds — that is areas, bases in which we can plan — how can we expand irrigation in a way that is beneficial to rural communities, very cautious about our varied water supplies looking at surface and groundwater,” Brantley said.

One area environmentalists said is everything must be done to preserving natural resources for future generations.

The Choctawhatchee, Pea, and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority helps with environmental issues in nine southeast counties. The riverkeepers are a group of volunteers who monitor bacteria water levels at nearly two dozen river locations.

“As Choctawhatchee riverkeeper, we’re getting into the recreational season now so we’re concerned about people having water that’s safe to swim in, fish that are safe to eat, and water that’s safe to drink,” said mike mullen of the riverkeepers association. “So we do monitor 20 sites and we’ll probably add a couple of sites one on the Choctawhatchee and one on the west fork on blue springs.”

In July, the Choctawhatchee, Pea, and Yellow Rivers Watershed Management Authority will hold a state watershed meeting for those interested in improving the area ecosystem.

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