Flint River Basin Water Policy and Management: Achieving Sustainability through Regional Flexibility
Blood, Elizabeth R.
Holland, Marjorie M.
Hook, James E.
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Regional approaches to comprehensive freshwater planning and management are emerging in Georgia. The evolution of public policy in the Flint River reflects the factors that are contributing to “regionalism” in problem identification and resolution. While the public policy process in the Flint River was similar in the initial stages, two distinctly different societal approaches are evolving to formulate and implement comprehensive freshwater planning. Regional patterns of water use, impacts on natural systems, and opportunities for achieving freshwater sustainability are resulting from the interplay of regional differences in water source and capacity with economics, demographics, and governance. Leadership and culture are important factors in the institutions and processes that are evolving to meet the challenge. An urban-business model is evolving in the upper basin and a rural-grassroots model in the lower basin. Such differences clearly point to the need for a flexible and adaptive approach to sub-state water resource planning and management.