With more than 640,000 acres of irrigated cropland, the Flint River basin of southwest Georgia is the state’s breadbasket with the market value of crops grown in the area estimated at more than $2 billion. But when farmers turn on the spigots to water their crops, water levels in the Floridan aquifer and the Flint River begin to drop. In one day, farms in southwest Georgia can use as much as 584 million gallons a day—about the same amount that metro Atlanta’s 15 counties use in a single day. And while metro communities are encouraging residents to fix leaks and install low flow toilets, in southwest Georgia, the C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park (SIRP), a unit of the University of Georgia, is doing the same with high-tech irrigation systems for farmers. Since opening in 2001, the Park has been instrumental in educating growers across the state on the importance of converting to more efficient irrigation systems that save water.
Georgia Water Coalition’s 2018 Clean 13 report highlights the efforts of individuals, businesses, industries, non-profit organizations and state and local governments who are protecting our water, restoring the health of Georgia’s waterways and preserving them for future generations.
The Coalition is a consortium of more than 250 conservation and environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, businesses, and faith-based organizations that have been working to protect Georgia’s water since 2002.