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      Flint River bill flows into effect

      The Flint River is a vital asset to many across Southwest Georgia.

      The Flint River is a vital asset to many across Southwest Georgia.

      It generates as much as probably sixty percent of the value coming out of some of these counties in the area so it's important to have a healthy river and a healthy aquifer to keep everything going.

      In July, the Governor approved Senate Bill 213, the Flint River Drought Protection Act.

      This bill is designed to accomplish three things: to give farmers new irrigation requirements, to allow flexibilty when declaring a drought and the choice to reduce agriculture water usage and to allow the state to change the flow of the river how they want.

      Robin Singletary, owner of CoveyRise Plantation, says he doesn't think it will substantially "change what we're trying to do around here as far as agriculture is concerned."

      Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers says that "everybody in Southwest Georgia is affected by how the Flint River Drought Protection Act is managed and in turn how the aquifer and the rivers are managed."

      There are four major tributaries taht are included in this act, the Muckalee Creek, The Kinchafoonee Creek, the Ichawaynochaway Creek and Spring Creek.

      The flows that are contemplated being managed by this bill and the tributaries in the Flint are simply flows that are enough to keep threatened endangered species alive, not for recreational activities like fishing, paddling and swimming.

      The Flint has serious flow issues and advocaters are pushing for additional changes to the act in the upcoming legislative sessions so that restoration to some of the flows can be done.

      The first changes will be seen after rule making is done by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Division who are meeting Thursday to discuss.