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ACF stakeholders being recruited

An organization has been created with the idea that a grassroots effort would be the best way to solve the 20-year-old water war over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin.

The ACF Stakeholders Inc. formed a steering committee in August with 20 users of the tri-waters who represented more than 60 stakeholders.

Shortly after, it drafted a charter and bylaws for the organization.

“This grassroots effort has resulted in the realization that any solution to the tri-state water conflict must be consensus-based. Solutions must be developed that benefit every user. Any solution short of that is not sustainable,” the information about the organization states.

The organization asked the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, an independent federal agency charged with resolving disputes, to facilitate the meetings of the stakeholders.

According to information from its Web site, the ACF Stakeholders’ mission is the following:

“The change the operation and management of the ACF Basin to achieve equitable solutions among stakeholders that balance economic, ecological and social values; and viable solutions that ensure that the entire ACF Basin is a sustainable resource for current and future generations.”

For more than 20 years, the states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida, as well as the U.S. government, have been enthralled in a in-depth study over the water allocation of the three rivers. In the latest chapter of the water war, which began with a lawsuit, Congress may have to decide the allocation of water in North Georgia’s Lake Lanier, which is man-made.

Also, Georgia’s official position concerning the ACF negotiations have run counter to the local interests of Decatur County and other downstream users of the ACF.

The annual membership of the ACF Stakeholders ranges from $25 for a non-voting member to $2,500 with members that represent a public jurisdiction of populations greater than 100,000, or a business or industry member with more than 500 employees.

Information about the ACF Stakeholders is available at www.acfstakeholders.org. You can also e-mail the organization at info@acfstakeholders.org.