Spring Creek Irrigation Modernization
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.
The project, led by the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, is a collaborative effort with regional farmers directed at ecologically critical areas where groundwater pumping has been shown to affect water tables and negatively impact stream flows during times of drought. The project provides funding, outreach, and technical support necessary to modernize irrigation systems, maximize crop production, reduce water use, and restore flows in important areas throughout the lower Flint River Basin. Importantly, this work will pave the way for expanded implementation of new irrigation technologies that scale up solutions that balance the water use needs of communities, economies and rivers.
More than 25 new Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI) systems will be installed across 15 counties in Georgia. Pilot efforts to increase impact in Georgia will lead to expansion of this technology to also benefit farmers across areas of Florida and Alabama. The project’s collective goal is to reduce water withdrawals annually by 20% while maintaining—or even increasing—agricultural production.
* Project supports agricultural water use efficiency to reduce the amount of water withdrawn from surface or groundwater sources.
** 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.