Tri-State Conservation Coalition
Thanks to generous support from the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Turner Foundation, CRK formed the Tristate Conservation Coalition (TSCC) in 1999 to foster better cooperation and coordination among non-governmental conservation and recreation organizations in the ACF and ACT Basins. TSCC member organizations are committed to safeguarding the water quality, ecological, and recreational functions of the River Basins.
The Tri-State Conservation Coalition is working to protect and restore water quality, biodiversity, and recreation in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Basins.
Five Core Principals
The TSCC believes we can achieve a sustainable future for people, fish, and wildlife, by meeting the following five core principles:
A. Maintain ecologically healthy instream flows essential for sustaining critical ecosystem services, including fisheries, habitat, biodiversity, groundwater recharge, filtration, and flood and drought mitigation. Sufficient instream flows are necessary to support other uses, including river and lake recreation, water supply, navigation, irrigation, industry, and power generation. Best available science should be used to determine and help balance instream flow needs while ensuring healthy river systems now and in the future.
B. Maximize water and energy conservation and efficiency first as the proven, cost-effective, and reliable means of meeting future water demand. Other sources of water supply such as additional withdrawals, new reservoirs, and IBTs, are not only environmentally destructive and expensive, but are unsustainable in light of demographic, economic, and climate uncertainty. Before considering any new withdrawals, reservoirs, or IBTs, each state should commit to aggressive water and energy conservation and efficiency measures first.
C. Minimize adverse impacts of interbasin transfers (IBTs) which often dewater and degrade one river basin in order to increase water supply and economic development in another basin. Given the severity of their impacts, IBTs should be a last resort—considered once all other options are exhausted, including water conservation and efficiency. In any event, any proposed IBT must satisfy science-based criteria to safeguard ecological health of both the donor and receiving basin.
D. Embrace adaptive management based on sound science and adequate monitoring and reporting. The highly complex nature of the ACF and ACT ecosystems, coupled with uncertainty (e.g., drought, flood, climate change), necessitates a science-based, adaptive approach to enable managers to react effectively to fluctuations in the system. Adaptive management is critical for addressing the needs for water quality, biodiversity, recreation, and other instream uses. Adaptive management also is necessary to adequately assess and respond to any impacts that new withdrawals, reservoirs, reservoir operations, and/or IBTs may have on the aquatic ecosystem. Vital to science-based adaptive management efforts, monitoring and reporting must be timely, comprehensive, and publically available. Provisions for basin-wide monitoring and reporting on instream flows, biodiversity, and water quality must be included and explicitly described in any allocation formula reached for either basin.
E. Transparent and accessible decision-making to facilitate and diversify public participation. The public has entrusted the states and the Federal government with the management of the ACF and ACT Basins. Therefore, we need meaningful public participation prior to any agreement between the states on water management for either Basin.
For more information, contact Laura Hartt at 404-352-9828, ext. 15.