Flint River, one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2009, still faces critical threats

Six months after 'Most Endangered River' listing, river still threatened by pressures to dam

October 20th, 2009

<P>Angela Dicianno, American Rivers, 202-243-7077<BR>Jenny Hoffner, American Rivers, 404-373-3602<BR>Mark Woodall, Flint Riverkeeper, 706-674-2242<BR>April Ingle, Georgia River Network, 706-549-4508</P>

Georgia — Six months after American Rivers named the Flint River one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers for 2009, the river is more endangered than ever, thanks to a recent court decision ruling that Atlanta is not authorized by Congress to withdraw drinking water from nearby Lake Lanier.

The Flint, one of Georgia’s treasures, could soon be devastated if the 20th century plan to dam the Flint River moves forward. The proposal would waste massive amounts of taxpayer dollars, destroy fishing and boating opportunities, and would not solve Georgia’s water needs.  Congress must deny attempts to authorize new dams on the Flint, and Georgia must take water efficiency off the back burner and ensure it is the backbone of water supply strategy, implemented first over new dams and reservoirs.

“Spending hundreds of millions of dollars to dam the Flint River simply doesn’t make sense when there are water efficiency options available that are far cheaper and would deliver faster results,” said Rebecca Wodder, president of American Rivers.  “Georgia and Congress must act swiftly to ensure adequate clean water supply for Georgia and across the Southeast.  The proven solution is with 21st century water management and water efficiency.”

The recent court decision handed down by a federal judge, that Georgia’s drinking water withdrawals from Lake Lanier are not authorized by Congress, puts additional pressure on the Flint River.  Georgia has three years to either stop withdrawals from Lanier or be authorized by the U.S. Congress to continue the withdrawals. 

In the aftermath of the Judge’s decision, Governor Perdue is considering a multitude of new reservoirs on the tributaries to the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers.  Over a dozen proposed sites are on tributaries of the upper Flint.  Meanwhile, water efficiency measures are capable of achieving nearly 100% reduction in withdrawals from Lanier, at a far lower cost to taxpayers than new reservoir construction. 

To learn more, visit www.AmericanRivers.org/EndangeredRivers

About America’s Most Endangered Rivers™
Each year, the America’s Most Endangered Rivers report highlights the rivers facing the most uncertain futures. The report presents alternatives to proposals that would damage rivers, identifies those who make the crucial decisions, and points out opportunities for the public to take action on behalf of each listed river.

The America’s Most Endangered Rivers Report results in thousands of supporters taking action on behalf of their beloved river. Such action produces immediate and tangible results. To see success stories visit www.AmericanRivers.org/MERSuccesses



About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Find your connections at AmericanRivers.org, Facebook.com/AmericanRivers, and Twitter.com/AmericanRivers.