Water Interests: ACF Compact

Statement on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin Compact
Alec L. Pointevent

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Despite intensive hard work and commitment, an allocation formula for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) basin will not be developed under the auspices of the ACF Compact. Like all those involved, we regret that.

At the same time, we recognize that fashioning an allocation formula was extremely complex. The goal -- a basinwide water allocation developed by those most affected -- was worth the effort and I compliment all who were part of the process.

I compliment the Governors and their teams. Through the Governors' personal involvement and their staffs' efforts we were all able to understand the extent to which the States might agree. Though we fall short of an agreement among the States, we should not lose sight of that fact. In that respect, I urge the States to work with the interagency federal team to explore the extent to which basinwide management can benefit from this effort. At the same time, I compliment each of the agencies on the interagency federal team and their leadership for their firm and unwavering commitment to the Compact. They have shown an intense understanding of the factors which affect our basinwide water resources.

The Compact process leaves us all with a better understanding of our regional interconnectedness and demonstrates the importance of cooperation and dialogue. As a part of the Compact discussions, there have been numerous public sessions which have increased the understanding of all participants on topics such as current and projected water demands, reservoir operations, hydropower, and environmental considerations.

The value of a continuing information exchange does not end with dissolution of the Compact. Our whole region will continue to face the uncertainty of a myriad of issues reaching across state boundaries: dynamic precipitation patterns; unexpected growth patterns; developments in water use and re-use technology; and how human actions impact the water quality, biodiversity, and ecology of the basin. Thus, I strongly urge the Governors to consider preserving the Compact's goals of information collection through a monitoring process. I also urge the Governors to establish an alternative forum for a continuing dialogue informing our region on the common goal of the wise stewardship of this precious natural resource.