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Officials Look to Solve Wiregrass' Low Water Levels

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

There is a problem in the Wiregrass, specifically in Coffee, Dale, and Houston Counties. Several residents seem to be running dry on ground water.

"I think this drought we're undergoing right now has hit home to a lot of people" says H. Eustes Walker, the chairman of the Choctawhatchee Pea River Watershed Management Authority. "There are unforeseen things that would call on additional water."

Some of those things include a growing population and an increase in demand.

The Choc-Pea-Yellow River Watershed Management Authority has teamed up with counties affected by the shortage, to conduct surveys to find a possible solution; that solution, being the construction of a 600 acre reservoir.

However, funding the project would cost $148 million dollars.

The federal government would come in to pay 65 percent of the cost, while the county's residents pay the difference.

However, officials say they are looking at other options, which include making use of groundwater, surface water and a reservoir

"We know there are some serious draw down issues and we're going to access some of those issues" says Marlon Cook with the Geological Survey of Alabama.

The project has been met with opposition, but the issue has to be introduced into federal legislation first.

After additional red tape, construction wouldn't even begin until another two years.

The reservoir could be built on the Choctawhatchee River because of its central location, and large water flow.


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