Legislation aims to limit metro area access to Flint River basins
The Flint Riverkeepers are trying to protect one of our precious natural resources: water. They met on Wednesday to discuss a bill that would regulate how much water is borrowed with Inter Basin Transfers (IBT) and how clean it has to be when it's returned.
"The regulation is extremely poor on them right now. There are rivers in Georgia such as the upper portions of the Flint that are suffering from unregulated utility of inner basin transfers," says Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers.
The bill is receiving bipartisan support.
"We want to make sure that inner basin transfers are not arbitrarily legislated through the capitol," says State Senator Freddie Sims (D-12).
Rogers says Republicans and Democrats are in favor of the bill, but some representatives from metro areas don't like the idea of regulating IBT.
Currently, officials say when water is returned, it isn't the cleanest.
"I would say 80 percent of the days you look at the Flint River it looks just fine and the water quality is very good. The problems come in when people cut corners with their waste treatment for whatever reason," says Rogers.
Flint Riverkeepers hold regular meetings to discuss issues such as IBT and river pollution.
"Part of our responsibility is to have some of our members in constant communication with our legislators so that they can know the impacts of proposed legislation," says the Flint Riverkeepers Chairman Paul DeLoach.
Sen. Sims says she considers herself a conservationist. She says it's important for state legislators to emphasize the importance of conserving.
"We've experienced bouts of droughts over the last few years, which makes it even more important that we are careful of how we use our water, when we use it and we just want to be protectors of it," says Sims.
For more information on the Flint Riverkeepers, visit their website.