The Flint River is part of the Apalachicola River system that drains areas of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. The River is home to some of the greatest aquatic biodiversity in North America and also provides water and farmland for some of the region’s most productive farms. Much of the river overlies the Floridan aquifer, where continued overdraft of groundwater from the Flint River Basin puts at risk both natural ecosystems and local economies that depend on clean and plentiful water supplies to achieve food and water security.
This project, led by The Nature Conservancy in Georgia and the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District works collaboratively with farmers in an ecologically critical tributary to the Flint River (Spring Creek) to retrofit irrigation systems with new technology that can reduce groundwater withdrawal by up to 20%. By providing funding and technical support to modernize irrigation systems with Variable Rate Irrigation technology (VRI), the project will partner with farmers drawing water from the aquifer in the Spring Creek watershed and will design, deploy, and monitor the results of new VRI irrigation systems that will directly reduce groundwater withdrawal from Spring Creek and the Floridan Aquifer.
This project is a pilot that prioritizes locations for irrigation infrastructure upgrades and demonstrates the use of information technology to help irrigators use less water and help restore natural streamflows to some of the most important streams in the Flint River Basin.
* Precise measurements and automated systems to improve water efficiency
** This resource has been reviewed and found to meet the BEF Flow Program Certification Criteria for Evaluating Proposals to Secure Environmental Flows by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.