Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Focus Area Study

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As one of several National Focus Area Studies within the USGS National Water Census (NWC) the USGS completed a 3-year study of water availability and use in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.

National Water Census  •  ACF Basin  •  Drought Impacts  •  Water Use  •  Estimating Streamflow  •  Groundwater/Surface-Water Interactions

 

Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin Focus Area Study

The ACF Basin includes parts of the three states of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and is an important water resource for the Atlanta Metropolitan area and several downstream cities. The river and its tributaries provide water to the nearly 4 million people that live in the basin and supplies extend outside the basin in many areas. ACF Basin waters supplied irrigation water to 736,000 acres in 2010 and is a critical source of freshwater for aquatic ecosystems in rivers and to Apalachicola Bay in Florida.

Appropriation of ACF water has been contested over the last three decades among the states that share the basin. Issues focus on use of water in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area, consumption of groundwater and surface water for agricultural irrigation in southwest Georgia, and freshwater needs in Apalachicola Bay.

USGS NWC Focus Area Studies (FAS) assess water availability and use to increase the understanding of factors affecting water availability in the region. The NWC evaluates water availability using a water-budget approach to better quantify the inflows and outflows of water, as well as the change in storage volume, both nationally and at a regional (basin) scale.  After gathering input from numerous stakeholders in the ACF, the USGS determined that sufficient resources were being applied to management of large reservoirs and flows in mainstem rivers. The most important scientific contributions could be made by providing information on the many other water-availability influences that are important:

The ACF River Basin FAS has developed new information on the above important components of the basin water budget that can be used to inform water managers throughout the region and aid them in addressing current and future challenges. The above links, and links to FAS products provide an in-depth discussion on the results of the study and access to study data sets.

 

National Water Census  •  ACF Basin  •  Drought Impacts  •  Water Use  •  Estimating Streamflow  •  Groundwater/Surface-Water Interactions