Water Efficiency Guidelines for Water Supply Projects in the Southeast

Given that water efficiency is often the least damaging, cost-effective water supply option, US EPA Region 4, developed guidelines to assist communities seeking new water supplies to better understand the water efficiency options that they need to consider prior to applying for a permit to construct a water supply reservoir.

Protecting Flow with the Clean Water Act

Explicit standards recognizing water flow as essential to supporting existing and classified designated uses are crucial to meeting the goals of the Clean Water Act. While water flows are implicitly protected, in practice some State agencies charged with implementing the Clean Water Act focus on the chemical component of the water quality and provide only cursory review of how their decisions will affect physical and biological integrity.

Broad River, SC: Restoring Flows, Fish and Flowers

American Rivers work in Columbia, SC to improve flows in the Broad River.

The Permitting Process for Water Supply Reservoirs

The construction of water supply reservoir projects requires a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for "the discharge of the dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S.‰" resulting from building the dam and control structures.

The Clean Water Act: Flow Standards

The water quality components of the Clean Water Act are aimed at protecting the full scope of benefits that clean and abundant water provide to society at large. The parameters for success of this goal are water quality standards that protect existing and classified designated uses.

Water Efficiency in North Carolina

American Rivers is working in North Carolina to implement the recommended policies in the Hidden Reservoir report to improve water efficiency.

Cheoah River Flows Again

Restoring natural flow patterns to this stretch of the Cheoah river, has already improved its diverse native aquatic life, helping species like the endangered Appalachian Elktoe mussel to make a comeback. The new flows also allow for improved fishing and world-class whitewater boating.

Upper Flint River Working Group

A key element of our project in the upper Flint is to help convene an Upper Flint River Working Group‰ÛÓa group of diverse stakeholders coming together with the common goal of restoring healthy flows in the upper Flint. Although the Flint has suffered in recent years from declining low flows, collaborative work on finding solutions can restore the river to health.

Egg Lake Dam Removal & First River Restoration Project

American Rivers is partnering with U.S. Forest Service with funding support from the state of Minnesota through the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council‰'s Conservation Partners Legacy Grant program to remove this inoperable dam, reconnect stream habitats and reestablish wetlands at the project site. This project will result in unobstructed flows in at least 2 miles of headwater habitat and will include road decommissioning to remove unneeded access roads.

2012 Dams Removed

Communities in 19 states, working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies, removed 65 dams in 2012, American Rivers announced today. Outdated or unsafe dams came out of rivers across the nation, restoring 400 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people across the country.

Westlawn Redevelopment

American Rivers was recently recognized for their work with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Over the past year we helped the Housing Authority secure $225,000 from the Fund for Lake Michigan of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation for bioswales in a reconstruction project of Wisconsin's largest public housing cluster on Milwaukee's northwest side.

Transforming Urban Gardens

American Rivers and the Garden District Neighborhood Association recently received a grant through Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District‰'s Green Infrastructure Partnership Program. The funding is helping transform an area on Milwaukee‰'s Southside into a sustainable showcase for urban community gardens across the country.

Green Infrastructure to Alleviate Flooding

American Rivers completed retrofitting over 12 acres of impervious surface in the Wilson Park Creek Subwatershed.

Darby Creek Restoration Project, PA

American Rivers is partnering with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to alleviate localized flooding, improve in-stream habitat, reestablish connectivity for resident and migratory fish (including American shad, hickory shad, alewife, river herring, American eel, bass, shiners, and suckers) , and restore free-flowing conditions along Darby Creek, a direct tributary to the Delaware River.

Local Stormwater Codes and Ordinances

American Rivers is working at the local level to review current codes and ordinances to provide sound recommendations to Planning Commissions and legislative bodies to reduce hard surfaces, create incentives to implement low impact development techniques such as rain gardens, bioretention, and green roofs, and protect buffers. These local changes will reduce polluted stormwater runoff and flooding and increase greenspace.

State Stormwater Permits

American Rivers is promoting green infrastructure solutions within state urban stormwater permits. Green infrastructure is a proven solution that is easily implemented in urban areas.

2010 Dam Removals

Our list of 60 dams that were removed in 2010, benefitting hundreds of miles of rivers nationwide.

Patapsco River, MD

American Rivers is working with the Friends of the Patapsco Valley State Park, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to remove several dams on the beautiful Patapsco River.

Restoring Savannah River Shoals: Two States, a Canal and a Redhorse

American Rivers is working to improve the health of the Savannah River‰'s Augusta Shoals. We successfully negotiated a new agreement with the City of Augusta, Georgia and the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League (SCCCL) to improve natural water flows from upstream dams.

Protecting the Little River, NC: Sustainable Water Supply vs. New Reservoir

Wake County and the City of Raleigh have proposed a new reservoir on the Little River.

Restoring the Health of Georgia’s Flint River

Georgia's Flint River is one of only 40 rivers left in the United States that flow for more than 200 miles undammed, and American Rivers intends to keep the Flint that way. Rising from humble origins just south of Atlanta - the river's headwater streams actually flow out of pipes buried beneath the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International - the Flint quickly becomes a water supply source for communities in the southern part of the Atlanta metropolitan area and downstream throughout west-central Georgia.

Flows in the Southeast

American Rivers is working in targeted states on water supply legislation that will protect the drinking water supply of our communities and the rivers that provide recreational, economic, and quality of life benefits in the face of climate change and population growth.

We are focusing our current efforts in North and South Carolina.

Developing Green Infrastructure Solutions: Stormwater Management Workshop and Presentation

American Rivers hosted the workshop "Solutions for Municipalities Managing Stormwater" at Swarthmore College in January 2009. The workshop was conducted to present sound stormwater management to municipalities and their engineers, citizen-based watershed groups, and civic leadership.

Green Infrastructure in Darby Creek, PA

American Rivers is working to restore DarbyCcreek and use green infrastructure to mimic the way water would naturally flow over the land. The Darby Creek restoration project will restore habitat and stream function by removing four barriers within the creek. At the same time, American Rivers‰' Clean Water program has partnered with several local agencies and groups to install rain barrels at homes and foster community based solutions to stormwater management.

Rain Garden and Rain Barrel Initiatives

American Rivers works on the local, state and federal levels to promote a range of green infrastructure solutions such as rain gardens, green roofs, and rain barrels. These approaches work in concert with nature to collect and filter runoff, reduce flooding, and minimize pollution in our rivers and streams while helping to save money and energy too.

Floodplain and Wetlands Restoration Projects

Successful Habitat Restoration Projects

Water Efficiency in the Southeast

Water Efficiency in the Southeast Local governments are uniquely positioned to manage municipal water use. American Rivers has been working with communities across the Southeast to adopt policies that increase water efficiency and decrease water waste.

Congaree River Blue Trail

American Rivers helps to protect the Congaree River Blue Trail in South Carolina to assure enhanced stream flows to support river recreation and a health and clean water supply

Hitchcock Creek Blue Trail

With the help of American Rivers, Hitchcock Creek in Rockingham, North Carolina is becoming a more valuable community asset, and will serve as an attraction for fishing, boating, and other recreation. Until recently, a dam degraded the Hitchcock Creek, blocked migrating fish from spawning and prevented the community from safely enjoying their river through boating and fishing.

Waccamaw River Blue Trail

The Waccamaw River Blue Trail will not only improve recreational opportunities, it will also help to educate citizens, local governments, and elected officials about the importance of the river as a community asset, increase community involvement in the river, and support conservation. This project will also serve as a model for how to work with city and county councils to encourage land protection and riparian buffers through educational and incentive programs. the river as a community asset, increase community involvement in the river, and support conservation.

Wateree River Blue Trail

American Rivers has helped to create the Wateree Blue trail, which offers opportunities for river recreation as well as helps to protect the Wateree River.