County receives waterhshed report

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2002

News Editor

Monday night, Pike County Commissioners were presented with the Groundwater Assessment Report by Barbara Gibson of the Watershed Management Authority (WMA).

The report is the result of a study conducted by the Geological Survey of Alabama for the WMA, to help solve the growing problem of water shortages in a 10-county area of southeast Alabama. In recent years, Dothan, Ozark and Enterprise have been the areas most affected by the worsening situation.

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During her presentation of the report to the commissioners, Gibson described it as, "one of the most comprehensive and detailed geologic investigations ever conducted in the history of the State of Alabama." She said the study mapped the geological history of the 10-county area for the last 100 million years and evaluated 203,000 feet of subsurface geology from 317 water wells and deep oil and gas wells, which constituted the data from which the 638 miles of cross section within the study area was developed.

Gibson said the study would not have been possible without the help of Sen. Wendell Mitchell and Rep. Alan Boothe, who were instrumental in attaining funding for the project.

The county will receive 24 maps with precise locations of all geologic formations, public wells and county-by-county summary of water production from the aquifers. Gibson said the information will be invaluable to all types of people including local and regional water authorities, farmers, drilling contractors, engineering consultants and city and regional planners involved in the development of current and future groundwater resources. She asked that the commission put the study and its maps where it can be accessed by the public. "This information belongs to all of the citizens of Pike County," she added.

Gibson also pointed out that due to an expanding population growth and economic development in the region, increasing demands have been placed on groundwater supplies, which makes up all public, private, industrial and agricultural water supplies for the 10-county area. She said the comprehensive nature of the study has produced specific hydrologic information for every portion of the 10 southeastern counties of Alabama, greatly increasing the level of knowledge of the location and characteristics of groundwater aquifers and recoverable groundwater in these areas.

Both Sen. Mitchell and Rep. Boothe thanked Gibson and the WMA for their hard work in putting together the report, before making the official presentation of it to the Pike County Commission.