THE NATION'S WATER RESOURCES
Volume 4: South Atlantic-Gulf Region
U.S. Water Resources Council
U.S. WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL
Secretary of the Interior,
Secretary of Agriculture:
Secretary of the Army:
Secretary of Commerce:
Secretary of Housing and
Secretary of Energy:
Secretary of Transportation:
Assistant Secretary of the Interior:
Assistant Secretary of Agriculture:
Deputy Under Secretary of the
Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Housing and Urban Development:
Assistant Secretary of Energy:
The Commandant, U.S.
Director, Water Resources
Cecil D. Andrus
Clifford L. Alexander, Jr.
Juanita M. Kreps
Patricia Roberts Harris
James R. Schlesinger
Douglas M. Costle
Guy R. Martin
M. Rupert Cutler
James W. Curlin
Yvonne S. Perry
Admiral J. B. Hayes
Thomas C. Jorling
Leo M. Eisel
THE NATION'S WATER RESOURCES
Volume 4: South Atlantic-Gulf Region
U.S. Water Resources Council
The Water Resources Planning Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-80) directs
the U.S. Water Resources Council to maintain a continuing study of the
Nation's water and related land resources and to prepare periodic assess-
ments to determine the adequacy of these resources to meet present and
future water requirements. In 1968, the Water Resources Council reported
the results of its initial assessment. The Second National Water Assess-
ment, a decade later, provides a comprehensive nationally consistent data
base for the water resources of the United States. The results of the
Second National Water Assessment were obtained by extensive coordination
and collaboration in three phases.
Phase I: Nationwide Analysis
The Councilmember agencies researched, analyzed, andprepared esti-
mates of current and projected water requirements and problems and the
implications of the estimates for the future.
Phase II: Specific Problem Analysis
Regional sponsors, one for each of the 21 water resources regions,
surveyed and analyzed State and regional viewpoints about (1) current
and future water problems, (2) conflicts that may arise in meeting State
and regional objectives, and (3) problems and conflicts needing resolution.
Phase III: National Problem Analysis
The Council conducted this final phase in three steps: (1) An evaluation
of phases I and II, (2) an analysis that identified and evaluated the
Nation's most serious water resources problems, and (3) the preparation
of a final report entitled "The Nation's Water Resources--1975-2000."
The final report of the Second National Water Assessment consists of
four separate volumes as described below. These volumes can assist Fed-
eral, State, local, and other program managers, the Administration, and
the Congress in establishing and implementing water resources policies and
Volume 1, Summary, gives an overview of the Nation's water supply,
water use, and criticalwater problems for "1975," 1985, and 2000 and sum-
marizes significant concerns.
Volume 2, Water Quantity, Quality, and Related Land Considerations,
consists of one publication with five parts:
Part I, "Introduction," outlines the origin of the Second Nation-
al Water Assessment, states its purpose and scope, explains the
numerous documents that are part of the assessment, and ident-
ifies the individuals and agencies that contributed to the as-
II, "Water-Management Problem Profiles," identifies ten gen-
eral water problem issues and their implications and potential con-
Part III, "Water Uses," focuses on the national perspectives re-
garding existing ("1975") and projected (1985 and 2000) require-
ments for water to meet offstream, instream, and flow-management
needs. State-regional and Federal perspectives are compared.
Part IV, "Water Supply and Water Quality Considerations," analyzes
the adequacy of fresh-water supplies (ground and surface) to meet
existing and future requirements. It contains a national water
budget; quantifies surface- and ground-water supplies, reservoir
storage, and transfers of water within and between subregions;
describes regional requirements and compares them to supplies;
evaluates water quality conditions; and discusses the legal and
institutional aspects of water allocation.
Part V, "Synopses of the Water Resources Regions," covers existing
conditions and future requirements for each of the 21 water re-
sources regions. Within each regionalsynopsis is a discussion of
functional and location-specific water-related problems; regional
recommendations regarding planning, research, data, and institu-
tional aspects of solving regional water-related problems; a
problem-issue matrix; and a comparative-analysis table.
Volume 3, Analytical Data, describes the methods and procedures used to
collect, analyze, and describe the data used in the assessment. National sum-
mary data are includedwith explanatory notes. Volume 3 is supplemented by
five separately published appendixes that contain data for the regions and
Appendix I, Social, Economic, and Environmental Data, contains
the socioeconomic baseline ("1975") and growth projections (1985
and 2000) on which the water-supply and water-use projections
are based. This appendix presents two sets of data. One set,
theNational Future, represents the Federal viewpoint; the other
set, the State-Regional Future, represents the regional sponsor
and/or State viewpoint.
Appendix ll, Annual Water Supply and Use Analysis, contains base-
line water-supply data and baseline and projected water withdrawal
and water-consumption data used for the assessment. Also included
are a water adequacy analysis, a natural flow analysis, and a crit-
Appendix III, Monthly Water Supply and Use Analysis, contains
monthly details of the water-supply, water-withdawal, and water-
consumption data contained inAppendix II and includes an analy-
sis of monthly water adequacy.
Appendix IV, Dry-Year Conditions Water Supply and Use Analysis,
contains both annual and monthly baseline and projected water-
withdrawal and water-consumption data for dry conditions. Also,
a dry conditions water-adequacy analysis is included.
Appendix V, Streamflow Conditions, contains detailed background
information on the derivation of the baseline streamflow inform-
ation. A description of streamflow gages used, correction fac-
tors applied, periods of record, and extreme flows of record,
are given for each subregion. Also included is the State-Regional
Future estimate of average streamflow conditions.
Volume 4, Water Resources Regional Reports, consists of separately
published reports for each of the 21 regions. Synopses of these reports
are given in Volume 2, Part V.
For compiling and analyzing water resources data, the Nation has been
divided into 21 major water resources regions and further subdivided into 106
subregions. Eighteen of the regions are within the conterminous United
States; the other three are Alaska, Hawaii, and the Caribbean area.
The 21 water resources regions are hydrologic areas that have either
the drainage area of a major river, such as the Missouri Region, or the
combined drainage areas of a series of rivers, such as the South Atlantic-
Gulf Region, which includes a number of southeastern States that have rivers
draining directly into the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
The 106 subregions, which are smaller drainage areas, were used exclu-
sively in the Second National Water Assessment as basic data-collection
units. Subregion data point up problems that are primarily basinwide in
nature. Data aggregated from the subregions portray both regional and
national conditions, and also show the wide contrasts in both regional and
national water sources and uses.
The Second National Water Assessment and its data base constitute a
major step in the identification and definition of water resources problems
by the many State, regional, and Federal institutions involved. However,
much of the information in this assessment is general and broad in scope;
thus, its application should be viewed in that context, particularly in the
area of water quality. Further, the information reflects areas of defici-
encies in availability and reliability of data. For these reasons, State,
regional, and Federal planners should view the information as indicative,
and not the only source to be considered. When policy decisions are to be
made, the effects at State, regional, and local levels should be carefully
In a national study it is difficult to reflect completely the regional
variations within the national aggregation. For example, several regional
reviewers did not agree with the national projections made for their
regions. These disagreements can be largely attributed either to different
assumptions by the regional reviewers or to lack of representation of
the national data at the regional level. Therefore, any regional orState
resources-management planning effort should consider the State-regional
reports developed during phase II and summarized in Volume 4 as well
as the nationally consistent database and the other information presented
in this assessment.
Additional years of information and experience show that considerable
change has occurred since the first assessment was prepared in 1968. The
population has not grown at the rate anticipated, and the projections of
future water requirements for this second assessment are considerably lower
than those made for the first assessment. Also, greater awareness of envi-
ronmental values, water quality, ground-water overdraft, limitations of
available water supplies, and energy concerns are having a dramatic effect
on water-resources management. Conservation, reuse, recycling, and weather
modification are considerations toward making better use of, or expanding,
People and the Resources 7
Natural Resources 8
Surface Flows 13
Ground Water 16
Water Withdrawals 19
Water Consumption 21
Instream Uses 21
Water Supply and Demand 22
Comparative Analysis 22
Water Quantity, Fresh Surface 25
Water Quantity, Ground 27
Water Quantity, Surface/Depth 28
Water Quality, Fresh Surface 28
Water Quality, Ground 29
Water Quality, Marine and Estuarine 31
Related Lands, Flooding 32
Related Lands, Drainage 32
Related Lands, Erosion/Sediment 33
Related Lands, Water-Related Use Conflicts 34
Individual Problem Areas 35
Conclusions and Recommendations 73
Federal Role 73
Level "B" Planning Studies 74
Other Major Planning Studies 75
Data Collection and Research 77
Institutional Arrangements 79
Figure 3-1. Region Map 2
Figure 3-2. Present Land Use 3
Figure 3-3. Navigation System 11
Figure 3-4. Environmental Resources 14
Figure 3-5. Streamflow 15
Figure 3-6. Major Aquifers 17
Figure 3-7. Withdrawals and Consumption 20
Figure 3-8a. Problem Map 36
Figure 3-8b. Problem Matrix 37
VOLUME 4 I 1
The South Atlantic-Gulf (SAG) Water Resources Region, which lies
south and east of the Tennessee and Ohio River Basins, is that portion
of the southeastern United States from and including the Chowan River
Basin in southeast Virginia to the Mississippi River Basin in Louisiana
and Mississippi (Figure 3-1). It contains 24major river systems andmany
minor river systems along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The region covers
almost 167 million acres of land area and 6.8 million acres of fresh-water
area. This 173.6 million acres (271,300 square miles)1 includes all of
the States of South Carolina (11.6 percent of the region) and Florida
(20.8 percent) and parts of the States of Virginia (3.2 percent), North
Carolina (16.2 percent), Georgia (21.6 percent), Alabama (16.8 percent),
Mississippi (9.5 percent), and Louisiana (0.3 percent).
There are 1,945 miles of ocean shoreline and 11,847 miles of bay/
estuary shoreline along the south Atlantic Ocean and eastern Gulf of
Mexico. Large bay/estuary water areas exist along both the Atlantic and
Gulf Coasts. These are important fisheries as well as nursery areas.
Coastal waters also provide recreation opportunities for millions of visi-
tors per year.
The SAG Region rises on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains
and encompasses mainly the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain Prov-
inces. The Valley and Ridge and the Appalachian Plateau Provinces cut
across a small area in northwest Georgia and into northeastern Alabama.
This Fall Line is a dividing line between the Piedmont and Coastal Plain
Provinces from Virginia into northwest Alabama. This Fall Line inAlabama
becomes the dividing line between the Appalachian Plateau and Blue Ridge
Provinces and the Coastal Plain Province. The area, at one time largely
agrarian, is becoming highly industrialized along major interstate highway
systems and near ports on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. The 1-85
highway corridor from Atlanta to north-central North Carolina supports
a great deal of industry and is rapidly growing into an urban area.
Urban areas (4.7 million acres) make up about 3 percent of the total
land area (167 million acres) and cropland about 15 percent. Approximately
63 percent of the region is forested, 9 percent is pastureland, and the
remaining 10 percent is highways, airports, industrial sites, and agri-
cutural land. Figure 3-2 shows the distribution of Standard Metropolitan
Statistical Area (SMSA) counties and forestlands in the region.
This is the sum of the areas of counties to approximate the hydrologic
area of the region. Land use and other socioeconomic data are related
to this area. The drainage area within the hydrologic boundary is 277,200
2 1 SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
U.S. WATER RESOURCES COUNC
SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF RE(
^/r^^. ^? 'I
'^ ^ -~7<
V ~ I
,I A ;
------------ apt *
:::: I;F'i'~i. 2'4
SCALE 1 8.700.000
0 100 200
I 90 85 80
Figure 3-1. Region Map
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VOLUME 4 | 3
U.S. WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL
SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
I SMSA Counties
(more than 50% forested)
0 100 200
Figure 3-2. Present Land Use
4 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
The South Atlantic-Gulf Region includes parts of five physiography
provinces, each having distinctive features of ground-water occurrence
related to the character of the underlying rocks. These provinces include
the Piedmont, which overlies crystalline rocks and encompasses about one-
fourth of the region and which extends in a broad northeastward-trending
belt from central Alabama to southern Virginia; the Valley and Ridge,
which overlies strongly folded and faulted carbonate rocks and encompasses
a small northeastward-trending belt in south central Alabama and north-
western Georgia; the Appalachian Plateau, overlying horizontal coal-bearing
sandstone rocks in northwestern Alabama; the Blue Ridge, in the western
parts of the States of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, which
encompasses the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains; and the Coastal
Plain, composed of sediments, which encompasses almost three-fourths of the
region and contains the region's largest ground-water resources and some
of the country's most extensive and productive aquifers.
There are two principal types of aquifers in the region. First, in
the Piedmont and mountain regions, fractured crystalline bedrock, such as
granite and slate, forms the principal aquifer, with the overlying weathered
portion, or saprolite, in some areas constituting a significant storage
area. The thickness of this saprolite varies from a few feet on steep
slopes to more than 100 feet in the valleys, but is generally less than
20 feet. When composed of sand or gravel rather than the usual clays of
the Piedmont, the saprolite may form a highly productive aquifer. The
crystalline bedrock in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Provinces consists of
gneisses, schists, quartzites, and granites. The saprolite of the Piedmont
Province consists of sediments intruded by granites, which in some loca-
tions such as Stone Mountain, Georgia, have large outcrops. The sediments,
once shales and sandstones, are now quartzites, schists, and Carolina
slate. Red soils with sandy clay and silty clay textures predominate in
The second principal type of aquifer, which is in the Coastal Plain,
is a huge seaward-thickening wedge of generally unconsolidated, but locally
consolidated, sedimentary rock onPrecambrian and Paleozoic bedrocks. The
chief aquifers are sands and gravels extending in a broad arcuate belt
from northeastern Mississippi to southern Virginia and highly productive
limestone and dolomite areas throughout most of Florida and adjacent
Georgia as well as in coastal South Carolina and North Carolina. The
thickness of fresh-water-bearing rocks ranges from a few hundred feet in
Virginia and North Carolina to more than 2,000 feet in parts of Florida
and Georgia and as much as 3,000 feet in southern Mississippi. Large
saline water resources underlie the fresh-water aquifers.
The rivers from Virginia to Georgia rise along the eastern slope of
the Blue Ridge Mountains at the higher elevations and flow southeastward
to the Atlantic Ocean. At the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains,
in the Appalachian Plateau and the Valley and Ridge Provinces, the Chat-
VOLUME 4 5
tahoochee and Coosa Rivers rise in northwest Georgia and flow south-
westward to the Gulf of Mexico. Other river systems to the west in
Alabama and Mississippi flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
Elevations in the region range from about 5,500 feet in the mountains
to 1,200 feet in the mountain foothills of the Piedmont Province, to
200 feet near the Fall Line. The rugged, densely wooded mountains with
conspicuous relief and well-defined narrow valleys change to a rolling
and hilly Piedmont and then to a gently rolling terrain at the Fall Line.
For descriptive purposes the higher, undulating portion of the Coastal
Plain Province is referred to as upper Coastal Plain and the relatively
flat, low-lying portion along the coast as lower Coastal Plain. In the
flat coastal areas the lands are poorly drained. In these areas drainage
and water-control measures are necessary if the land is to be used for
development or crop production. These low, flat lands contain valuable
natural lakes, swamps, and wildlife areas. In Florida, which for the
most part has little geographic relief, drainage divides are difficult
to delineate and frequently are not meaningful. Where the ridge between
the basins is indistinct and is low enough to be topped by flood waters,
it will function as a boundary only part of the time. Therefore, the
Florida peninsula is generally divided into the St. Johns River Basin;
south Florida (that portion of the State draining into Lake Okeechobee
and to the south); and southwest Florida, encompassing an area between
the St. Johns and Suwannee River Basins.
The Coosa and Black Warrior Rivers originate in the Valley and Ridge
and the Appalachian Plateau Provinces, flow through the valleys in north and
northeastern Alabama, and cross the Fall Line in central Alabama. The
Fall Line runs northwestward from Phenix City, Alabama, to the Tennessee
River at the northern end of the Alabama-Mississippi State line. The
Alabama area south of the Fall Line and all of Mississippi are in the
Coastal Plain Province, sometimes referred to as the Gulf Coastal Plain
The climate is characterized by well-distributed rainfall (except
in portions of Florida), mild winters, and warm-to-hot humid summers.
Average annual rainfall generally ranges from 41 inches in small areas
of the interior of Georgia and South Carolina to 80 inches in the southern
reach of the BlueRidge Mountains. A minimum annual average of 40 inches
occurs locally at Key West, Florida. Rainfall along the Atlantic coast
areas, in Florida, and in the central portion of the Gulf states is 50
to 55 inches per year. TheGulf coastal area receives 60 to67 inches per
year. Average annual rainfall of approximately50 inches per year for the
region compares very favorably with the national average of 30 inches per
South Florida experiences a considerable variation in precipitation
during the year. This area receives almost one-half of its annual average
rainfall in the period fromJune through August. One-fourth occurs in the
6 1 SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
fall from September through November, and the remaining one-fourth occurs
during the 6 month period from December through May.
Normal daily average temperatures range from 550F in the mountains
to 750F in south Florida. Freezing temperatures are rare in south Florida,
but they usually occur about 40 times per year along the Fall Line and
70 or more times per year in the mountains. The high mountain barrier
aligned in a northeast-southwest direction protects a large part of the
region from severe cold. Along the Atlantic Coast, the climate is tempered
by the Atlantic Ocean, landlocked sounds, and the warm Gulf Stream just
offshore. The Gulf of Mexico tempers the climate of the States adjoining
January temperatures vary from an average of 30"F in the mountains
to 700F at the southern tip of Florida. The average daily temperature
range is about 20*F, with extremes of 100F to 30*F. Average July maximum
daily temperature varies from about 80*F in the mountains to 940F in central
Georgia. Temperatures much higher than 1000F and lower than zero are
extremely rare in the region. The growing season varies from 180 days in
the mountains to the entire year in south Florida.
Rainfall, except as discussed above for south Florida, is fairly
well-distributed throughout an average year, with most of the rain occurring
during the growing season. In the inland areas of the region, early spring
peaks are a product of frontal storms which sweep across the continent.
These storms migrate seasonally. The summer peaks are products of thunder-
storms which produce abundant rainfall. Autumn peaks may occur along the
coastal areas from hurricanes and lesser tropical storms. These hurricanes
hit the Florida coast an average of every 2 years, the Gulf coast every
3 years, the Atlantic coast every 5 years, and inland areas every 10
years. Northeasters, generated off the northeasternUnited States coast,
sometimes hit the coasts of North Carolina with heavy rainfall.
VOLUME 4 7
People and the Resources
Problems of water quantity and quality are closely related to popula-
tion and standard of living. As the population increases and the standard
of living is improved, higher demands are made on the available water
resources for supply and for the disposal of wastes. Projections of popu-
lation and economic indicators have been made in order to arrive at water
needs and to project water-quality management and other requirements. For
this purpose the OBERS "E" data have been used by the Bureau of Economic
Analysis to develop (under contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority
and the Corps of Engineers)a set of economic activity projections at the
county and/or Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) level of aggre-
gation for the nine southeastern States. These projections are closely
coordinatedwith Stateagency projections andprojections of other parties
interested in small area data. These were used as a basis for the State-
Regional Future (SRF) in the national water assessment reports.
The region is shifting from an agrarian economy to an industrialized
and diversified economy. As a result there is a shifting of a rural popula-
tion to an urban population. Urban areas are expanding into adjoining
rural areas. This shifting of rural to urban population will continue
during the period from 1975 to 2000.
According to the National Future (NF) viewpoint, total population
in the region is projected to increase from 25.4 million in 1975 to
34.7 million in2000. Past trends have shown a change in SMSA population
from 49.5 percent of the total population in 1950 to 61.5 percent in
1970. It is projected to increase to 67.5 percent in 2000. In 1975
the population of the region was approximately 12 percent of the national
population; by 2000 it is projected to be 13 percent.
There were 10.3 million persons employed in the region in 1975. The
total personal income, measured in 1975 dollars, was about $134 billion,
or over $5,200 per person. Earnings from manufacturing were 25 percent
of the total earnings, the largest of any single category earnings. The
"other" category of earnings was 70 percent of the total (See Table 3-1)
and includes wholesale and retail trade; government; services; transpor-
tation, community and public utilities; contract construction; and finance,
insurance, and real estate.
8 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Table 3-1.--South Atlantic-Gulf Region earnings-1975, 1985, 2000
(million 1975 dollars)
Earnings sector 1975 1985 2000
Manufacturing---------------- 25,954 38,949 64,366
Agriculture---------- ---- 4,583 4,628 5,504
Mining------------------ 444 543 709
Other--------------- -------- 73903 115,622 210 874
Total----------- ----- 104,884 159,742 281,453
Manufacturing earnings are projected to increase 148 percent between
1975 and 2000, while agricultural earnings are projected to increase only
20 percent. The "other" category of earnings is projected to increase
185 percent from 1975 to 2000. In 2000, manufacturing earnings will be
23 percent of total earnings, and agricultural and other earnings are
projected to be 2 and 75 percent, respectively. In 1975, textiles accounted
for 21 percent of the manufacturing earnings; lumber products and furniture,
9 percent; food and kindred products, 8 percent; and apparel and other
fabric products, 8 percent. Paper and allied products, chemicals and
alliedproducts, fabricated metals, electricalmachinery and supplies, and
motor vehicles each accounted for 6 percent of the total manufacturing
In 2000, textiles and other manufacturing categories will rank highest
in their percentage of manufacturing earnings with 15 and 13 percent, respec-
tively. Electricalmachinery and chemicals will increase their percentage
share of total manufacturing earnings to 9 and 8 percent, respectively.
Food and kindred products share of the earnings will drop to 5 percent.
Other categorieswill have about the same percentage share of total manu-
facturing earnings as experienced in 1975.
Abundant land and water resources have contributed to employment in
the region. The region has been attractive to industry that needs these
resources along with human resources for operation. The total land area
is 166.8 million acres and the water area of all water bodies of 40 acres
or more is 6.8million acres, for a total of 173.6million acres of surface
area. Urban and built-up areas occupy 3 percent and forested areas cover
over 60 percent of the total surface area. Urban land uses will increase
slightly by 2000, resulting in conversion of land used for other purposes.
Forestlands will decrease slightly from 1975 to 2000. These forestlands
are used extensively for the growing of softwoods and hardwoods. Lumbering
and paper manufacturing are major users of this timber.
VOLUME 4 9
Table 3-2.--South Atlantic-Gulf Region surface area and 1975 land use
Surface area or land use type 1,000 acres total surface area
Total-------------------------- 173,630 100
Water--------------------- 6,807 4.0
Land------------ -------- 166,823 96.0
Cropland---------------------- 25,259 14.5
Pasture and range-- -----------15,344 8.8
Forest and woodland-------------- 105,334 60.7
Other agriculture ----------- 4,293 2.5
Urban-------------------------- 4,747 2.7
Other--------------- 11,846 6.8
The region has an abundance of raw materials such as sand, gravel,
clay, stone, and cement for use in the building industry. It also produces
sulfur, mica, fuller's earth, phosphates, and titanium. Iron ore deposits
are abundant innorth-central Alabama. There is also coal, petroleum, and
natural gas in the region.
Both the Atlantic and Gulf shores offer considerable opportunities
for recreation, swimming, fishing, and boating. Large numbers of tourists
are attracted to the region, particularly to developed areas. The estuarine
waters are important aquatic habitat, nursery areas, and shellfish harvest-
ing areas. These areas are sensitive to environmental changes.
Only 15 percent of the total land area is cropland. Approximately
69 percent of this cropland is harvested, and the other 31 percent is
unharvested. Only 8 percent of the total cropland is irrigated. Total
croplands are projected to increase slightly by 2000, while croplands
harvestedwill increase about 36 percent. Irrigation of crops is increas-
ing rapidly in some farming areas andwill increase about 49 percent from
1975 to 2000 regionwide (See Table 3-3).
Table 3-3.--Projected changes in cropland and irrigated farmland in the
South Atlantic-Gulf Region--1975, 1985, 2000
Land category 1975 1985 2000
Total cropland -------------- 25,259 25,747 27,515
Cropland harvested ---------- 17,478 18,908 23,686
Irrigated farmland ------- 2,035 2,563 3,040
10 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
An abundance of water and significant stream gradients have led to
the development of hydroelectric power projects, mainly above the Fall Line.
Private industry has in the past depended upon numerous small hydroelectric
projects in this area. The large hydroelectric projects accounted for
7 percent of the power generated in 1975, but are projected to generate
only 1 percent of the power in 2000.
In 1975, the 93 steam electric power plants in the region generated
220.1 thousand of the total 237.7 thousand gigawatt-hours of power. Of
these plants, 88 were fossil fueled, generating 80 percent of the region's
power and five were nuclear fueled, generating 13 percent of the power.
Electric power expected to be generated by steam plants in 2000 (Table 3-4)
is 1,757.9 thousand gigawatt-hours. According to NF projections, 57 per-
cent of this power is expected to come from nuclear fueled plants and
42 percent from fossil fueled plants.
Table 3-4.--South Atlantic-Gulf Region electric power
generation--1975, 1985, 2000
Fuel Source 1975 1985 2000
Fossil ------------------------ 189,757 328,585 747,660
Nuclear ----------------------- 30,344 331,477 1,010,231
Conventional hydropower ----- 17,602 15,102 15,461
Total generation------------- 237,703 675,164 1,773,352
Alabama has proven petroleum production from over 50,000 acres, and
oil and gas are being produced or have been produced from 41 fields.
Florida and Mississippi also produce significant amounts of petroleum
and natural gas. In 1975, the three States produced over 3 percent
of the Nation's petroleum and about 1 percent of the natural gas.
Alabama coal fields constitute the southernmost part of the Appalachian
coal field, and the State ranks eighth nationally in coal production. Coal-
bearing rocks underlie approximately 18,630 squares miles of the State.
There is a resource base of 1,920 million tons of bituminous coal and
1,027 million tons of lignite accessible to strip-mining. In 975Alabama
produced 22.5 million tons of coal.
The South Atlantic-Gulf Region has an extensive navigation system
(Figure 3-3) including intracoastal waterways along the Atlantic and Gulf
Coasts, several inland waterways, 18 ports handling over one million tons
of cargo each per year, numerous small harbors and channels, and a major
VOLUME 4 | 11
900 850 800 750
U.S. WATER RESOURCES COUN
SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF RE
LEGEND i 9 feet or mor
CHANNEL e- Less than 9 f
1 m1 Under consti
6CL L .
eet' '' ', '._.
L- ,- -.-
SCALE 1 8 700 000
o o I I
0 100 200
Figure 3-3. Navigation System
90, 85' 80,
12 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
navigational channel under construction to connect theTombigbee River in
Alabama with the Tennessee River. An existing waterway cuts across south
Florida through Lake Okeechobee. The region's ports are important receiving
terminals for national and international goods for the southeasternUnited
States. They also serve as export points for raw materials produced in the
region. Mobile Harbor and the connecting Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway will
be important navigation facilities serving the internal portions of the
eastern United States.
These navigation systems transported approximately 230 million tons
of freight in 1975. This is projected to increase considerably by the
year 2000. Improved facilities will be required to accommodate this
The region's fresh-water bodies andcoastalareas serve as recreation
areas for the urban population of the southeastern United States as well as
for people fromother parts of theUnited States and Canada. Its many un-
developed and natural areas are also an attraction for recreation and
tourism. In recent years there have been large increases in boating,
camping, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and swimming. These activities add
to the area's economy, but place demands on land and water resources.
There are 47 large manmade reservoirs in the region, plus a number
of large natural lakes such as Mattamuskeet in North Carolina, Waccamaw
in North Carolina, and Okeechobee (730 square miles) in Florida. Water
bodies of 40acres or more account for about 6.8million acres of surface
area. The many miles of beach and other shoreline in the region and pro-
tected sounds behind the barrier islands of the North Carolina coast provide
tremendous recreation use opportunities. The Blue Ridge Mountains to the
west of the regionwith theirmany natural areas are a significant tourist
Several thousand historic places in the region are listed in the
National Register of Historic Places. Unusual natural areas occur in
each State and include swamps, rivers, marshes, and wildlife habitat.
Among these are Dismal Swamp, Congaree Swamp, Okefenokee Swamp, Ogeechee
River, SuwanneeRiver, BigCypress Swamp, St. Martins Marsh, Cahaba River,
and the Everglades.
In 1975, an estimated 161 million instances of water-dependent recrea-
tion activities occurred in the region, plus an additional 58 million
instances of water-enhanced recreation activities. The participation
in these activities in 2000 is projected to increase 46 and 47 percent
in each category, respectively. Surface water is abundant in the region,
but more access points need to be provided and facilities constructed to
meet future recreation needs. Nine Federal reservoir projects accounted
for 46.5 million visits in 1975. Lake Lanier in Georgia provided for
14.5 million of these visits andwas the most utilized Corps of Engineers
reservoir intheNation. Four of theCorps of Engineers reservoirs in the
region were among the 10 most used Corps of Engineers reservoirs. All
VOLUME 4 13
of these are located in or border on the State of Georgia.
In the region, 19 wilderness areas with a total of 529,000 acres
have been designated. Another 20 potential sites are located in the
region. There are 91 critical areas which have been identified for outdoor
recreation use, while another 115 sites have been identified as having
scenic, historical, or archeological value (Figure 3-4). There are 13
designated endangered species and another possible 10 which are inhibi-
tants of the region. The States have identified considerably more than
this number which are in the rare, endangered or threatened category.
For example, Alabama lists over 100 species.
There are 3,000 miles of nationally significant streams for fish and
wildlife in the region. Trout and warm water fisheries streams have been
so designated by the States and classified as public fishing streams
needing protection. Only 40miles of the ChattoogaRiver in South Carolina
and Georgia is included on the national list of wild and scenic rivers.
There are from 2,500 to 3,000 miles of streams identified by the States
as havingpotential for preservation as wild, scenic, or natural streams.
The region has 18 national forests, more than 10 State forests, 23
national parks, and over 100 State parks. Five national seashores have
been designated. There are 22 national wildlife or management areas plus
many such areas managed by the States. These resources have been planned
and are being managed to meet the physical and recreation needs of the
region's people. Additional areas are being obtained to protect the habitat
of threatened species such as the sandhill crane.
Water availability and water use data were collected and projected
for the purpose of assessing the current and potential problems related
to the region's water needs. As discussed below, the indicated streamf lows
are average annual values. Water withdrawals and water consumption in
millions of gallons per day (mgd) are based upon average daily values
for the year 1975; comparable figures have been projected for the year
The regionhas 24major rivers and a number of small coastal streams.
It is not one large integrated basin. Hence, data will be presented in
smaller, more meaningful units, such as subregions. Annual mean flows for
the nine subregions vary from 7,310 mgd to 41,800 mgd (see Figure 3-5).
Corresponding 80 percent probability flows on an annual basis are 4,140
and 32,100 mgd, respectively. Total annual mean flows for the region are
228,010 mgd, and the annual 80-percent probability flow is 164,140 mgd.
Under mean annual conditions, the lowest flows occur in October and
November in seven of the subregions, in April in subregion 305, and in
May in subregion 304. The lowest flow is generally 50 to 65 percent of
14 SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
900 850 800 750
U.S. WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL K
SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION M
LEGEND V 10
_. Existing or Potential Wild & Scenic Rivers
0 Natural, Scenic or High Recreation Areas
Critical Environmental Areas T- '
0' ^ ': .. *
0 I S0 T
o\ \J iSCALE 1:8,700,000
900 85 800
-1 39 1~L~ ,L y P
Figure 3-4. Environmental Resources
VOLUME 4 1 5
Atlantic Atlantic & Gulf Gulf
Figure 3-5. Streamflow
the average daily flow calculated on an annual basis, except that for
subregion 305 it is 18 percent, for subregion 308 it is 34 percent, and
for subregion 309 it is 36 percent. The 80-percent probability flow for
the dry month ranges from less than 1 percent to 48 percent of the annual
80-percent probability flow. Table 3-5 provides data on the mean daily
flow calculated on an anuual basis and mean dry-month flows by subregion,
as well as the 80-percent probability flow on a day-month basis.
Table 3-5.--Streamflow, annual and dry month (mgd)
ASR no. Mean 80 percent probability
Annual Dry month Annual Dry month
301 25,900 15,100 18,800 3,680
302 28,000 18,600 19,600 8,140
303 25,500 12,900 17,500 6,980
304 18,600 11,400 10,500 4,010
305 7,310 1,290 4,140 26
306 21,800 12,200 16,600 7,950
307 40,100 21,800 31,700 14,800
308 41,800 14,300 32,100 8,340
309 19,000 6,790 13,200 3,300
1The 80-percent probability flow is the average daily flow calculated
on an annual basis that will be exceeded statistically 4 out of 5 years.
16 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Figure 3-6 shows the major ground-water aquifers. In the Piedmont
Province, ground water occurs infractures of the crystalline rock. Well
yields are generally low, averaging less than 50 gallons per minute (gpm);
however, the ground-water potential and yields of the area have, for the
most part, been underrated. Supplies adequate for domestic and rural use
are consistently available, and supplies yielding several hundred gpm are
available locally from fractured bedrock. Throughout much of the province,
a thick mantle of weathered rock overlies the fractured bedrock and func-
tions both as a reservoir and a recharge area. This water is slowly
released to underlying bedrock fractures, thus sustaining a high base
flow of streams.
The Valley and Ridge Province at the southern end of the Blue Ridge
Mountains encompasses about 7,000 squares miles in northern Alabama and
Georgia. Ground water occurs in fractures and solution openings in the
carbonate bedrock, and highly productive cavernous limestones characterize
the ground-water hydrology. Dolomite and limestone of the Cambrian and Ordo-
vician ages are the most important aquifers. Many springs are used for
municipal and industrial supply. Coldwater Spring, with flows up to 32
million gallons per day (mgd), provides the municipal supply for the
city of Anniston in Calhoun County, Alabama. Locally, wells yield more
than 1,000 gpm. A weathered residuum overlies the carbonate bedrock and
functions as a reservoir that stores water and slowly feeds the underlying
solution channels and fractures. The base flow of streams is well sustained
as a result of ground-water discharge through springs and seeps.
Potential for ground-water development in the Coastal Plain Province,
which is almost three-fourths of the region, is very great and ground water
plays a major role in the region's economy. Large springs are numerous,
with yields ranging up to hundreds of millions of gallons per day from
carbonate rocks in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Locally, wells yield
as much as 20 thousand gpm from carbonate rocks and as much as 5,000 gpm
from sand aquifers. Extensive fresh-water aquifers are virtually untapped
The sediments of the Coastal Plan Province contain the region's largest
ground-water resources and some of the country's most extensive and produc-
tive aquifers. There are six major aquifer systems in the Coastal Plain of
the region. They are discussed below.
1. The Tuscaloosa Formation and associated sand aquifers of late
Cretaceous age constitute one of the most important regional
aquifer systems. These aquifers yield large quantities of water
in the Fall Line zone and inthe zone's downgradient, extending
in an elongated belt about 50miles wide from southeast Virginia
to northeast Mississippi. Wellyields of 1,000 gpm are common,
and locally wells yield more than 2,500 gpm. The only poorly
productive areas are in west-central Alabama where the waters
are saline and along the innermost edge of the Coastal Plain
where the sands are thin. The outcrop of this aquifer functions
VOLUME 4 I 17
U.S. WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL
SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Unconsolidated and semlconsolldated
Both unconsolidated and consolidated
Underlain by aquifers than generally
will yield less then 50 galmlin. to wells
0 100 200
Figure 3-6. Major Aquifers
18 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
as an important area of discharge to the major rivers crossing
it. Base flows are well sustained in the inner Coastal Plain.
2. The limestone and sand aquifers of early Tertiary age are an
important source of ground-water supplies in a continuous belt
extending across the region from North Carolina to Mississippi.
These aquifers immediately overlie the Cretaceous sands and are
the primary source of water south of the Cretaceous belt in a
band about 50 miles wide in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia
which narrows somewhat to the northeast in South Carolina and
North Carolina. These aquifers are highly productive and most
important in Mississippi, Alabama, and western Georgia. Yields
of 2,000 gpm or more are common and can be expected from effi-
ciently constructed wells almost anywhere in this belt in the
Pascagoula River Basin in Mississippi. The only poorly produc-
tive area is in west-central Alabama and extending a short dis-
tance into east-central Mississippi, where the underlying early
Tertiary age strata are of generally low permeability, yields
are low, and the water is generally of poor quality.
3. Miocene to Pleistocene sand aquifers yield large quantities of
water to wells along the Gulf Coast in westernFlorida, Alabama,
and Mississippi. The aquifer thickens toward the Mississippi
embayment to the west. Fresh water extends to a depth of
1,250 feet at Pascagoula, Mississippi, and to more than 3,000 feet
at the mouth of the Pearl River. Well yields commonly exceed
1,000 gpm. Individual well yields of 2,000 gpm are commonplace,
and yields of 5,000 gpm are not unreasonable to expect in some
places. Ground-water reservoirs in the Pearl River Basin are
especially important because they provide storage and transmis-
sion facilities within immense multiple artesian systems avail-
able for use as water supplies and within shallow water-table
systems, which largely control dry-weather flow of streams.
4. The Principal Artesian Limestone aquifer of Tertiary age, the
most extensive and widely used aquifer within the region, under-
lies Florida, southern and coastal Georgia, and adjacent parts
of Alabama and South Carolina. This aquifer is the source of
some of the largest ground-water supplies inthe United States.
Although separated really, the limestones of the North Carolina
coastal plain are also considered part of this system. Large
springs are numerous, with yields ranging up to hundreds of
millions of gallons per day in Florida and Georgia. Silver
Springs and Rainbow Springs in central Florida are the largest,
with a combined flow of about one billion gallons per day.
Locally, wells in Georgia yield 10 thousand gpm, and a natural
flow of 20 thousand gpm is reported from a well in central
Florida. The base flow of streams is well sustained as a result
of ground-water discharge through springs. The Castle Hayne
Limestone is the most productive unit in North Carolina.
5. The Biscayne aquifer is a highly productive aquifer and a most
VOLUME 4 19
important source of fresh water for populous southeast Florida,
including the Miamiarea. The aquifer, consisting predominantly
of highly permeable limestone and sand of the Quaternary age,
underlies about 3,000 square miles of Dade, Broward, and parts
of PalmBeach Counties in Florida. It is wedge-shaped, extending
from the land surface to a depth of about 200 feet along the coast
and thinning to a few feet in the western part of the area. Well
yields commonly exceed 2,000 gpm. The Biscayne aquifer is an
integral part of a complex regional water management system for
both ground and surface waters in southeast Florida. Water
management practices were initiated in 1952 and have effectively
stabilized salt-water intrusion. The objective has been to main-
tain adequate fresh-water heads in the Biscayne aquifer and in
the canals above salinity-control structures so as to prevent
sea-water intrusion and to provide replenishment to well fields
by infiltration from the canals.
6. Shallow aquifers in the area are composed of sand, shell, and/or
limestone of Miocene to Holocene age. This material forms a
relatively thin blanket of surficial material that overlies the
generally more productive Tertiary aquifers in a belt along the
Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida and extending
across southwest Florida. Although yields are generally low,
less than 250 gpm, these aquifers are important sources of water
supply in areas where the more productive aquifers are not
available, and they are the conduit for recharge by leakage
to the prolific Tertiary aquifers which underlie them. The
shallow aquifer is the major source of ground water in parts
of southern Florida, in Dade County in coastal North Carolina,
and on offshore barrier islands.
An extensive shallow aquifer underlies the Big Cypress Swamp
and adjacent areas of southwest Florida. In view of the good
water quality, the large areal extent of permeable limestone, and
the high yield to wells, there is an indication that this aquifer
represents a principal factor in present and future growth and
development in southwest Florida.
According toNational Future estimates, total fresh-water withdrawals
from surface- and ground-water sources in 1975 averaged 24.5 billion gal-
lons per day (bgd). The largest withdrawal was 52 percent of this total
for steam electric power generation. Irrigation use was about 14 percent,
manufacturing use was 17 percent, and centralplus noncentral water system
use was 9 percent. Total water withdrawals are expected to increase 16
percent by the year 2000 to 28.3 bgd.
Once-through cooling for steam electric power generation occurs to a
large degree at the present time. By the year 2000 recirculation will be
only 9 percent while steam electric power production will increase about
700 percent (see Figure 3-7).
20 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
ANNUAL FRESHWATER WITHDRAWALS
Total Withdrawals 24,510 MGD
Total Withdrawals 28,340 MGD
ANNUAL FRESHWATER CONSUMPTION
Total Consumption 4,867 MGD
Total Consumption 10,053 MGD
Figure 3-7. Withdrawals and Consumption
VOLUME 4 I 21
Ground-water pumping is extremely heavy in much of the Coastal Plain
area, with total withdrawals in 1975 estimated by the NF to be about
5,449 mgd for domestic, municipal, industrial, rural, and agricultural
needs. Theseheavy withdrawals result in the formation of extensive cones
of depression and lowered artesian heads over broad areas encompassing
hundreds of square miles, encroachment of salt water into fresh-water
aquifers from vertical or lateral migration, and subsidence and cata-
strophic collapse inkarst terraces due to localized ground-water pumping.
Significant amounts of saline cooling water are used by steam electric
generating plants along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. These plants pres-
ently use 7.0 bgdand by 2000 will be using about 20.2 bgd. Manufacturing
operations presently use almost one-half bgd. The only significant de-
salination plants for domestic water are located at Siesta Key and Key
West, Florida; they produce 3.1 mgd, according to SRF sources.
National Future data indicate that average daily fresh-water consump-
tion in 1975 was 4.9 bgd and it will rise to 10.1 bgd by 2000. In 1975,
20 percent of the total water withdrawals were consumed, and this will rise
to about 35 percent in 2000. Higher consumption rates occurred in Florida,
where the rainfall was not as evenly distributed throughout the year.
Irrigation accounted for 57 percent of the consumption in 1975 but will
only account for about 36 percent of the total in 2000. Steam electric
power plants accounted for 3 percent of the total water consumed in 1975;
this will increase to 19 percent in 2000. Domestic and manufacturing
uses accounted for 31 percent of the consumption in 1975 and will account
for 38 percent in 2000 (Figure 3-7).
The most significant regional problem regarding instream needs is
the lack of an adequate legal and institutional basis for management of
instream flows. There are numerous and large instream uses of all the
major streams plus many of the minor streams. The large heads above the
Fall Line have been utilized for hydropower production. Anadromous fish
runs occur on a number of the streams inNorth Carolina and South Carolina.
Warm water fisheries is a major use of most of the streams except in the
Blue Ridge Province where trout fishing streams are significant. A put-
and-take trout fishery has also been developed below several major hydro-
electric power reservoirs such as Lakes Hartwell and Lanier in Georgia.
Navigation occurs on a number of major streams, and flows are generally
regulated to aid this navigation. In general, the States in the region
require waste dischargers to meet stream water quality standards based
upon a 7-day low flow having a recurrence frequency of one in 10 years.
This flow is a minimum required continuous release from some reservoir
projects. In some cases, specific flow requirements over and above this
design flow are maintained to protect stream water quality. Major recre-
ation use of streams and reservoirs also occurs throughout the region.
22 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Water Supply and Demand
The region has an abundance of fresh surface- and ground-water, but
unfortunately it is not always located in the areas of need. National
Future figures show that there is an annual average daily outflow of
228 bgd, whereas only slightly over 24.5 bgd of this is presently being
withdrawn. By the year 2000, water withdrawals will have increased to
slightly over 28 bgd. Water withdrawals from both surface- and ground-
water sources are expected to increase.
Total consumptive use of the region's waters will increase from 4.9 bgd
in 1975 to 10.1 bgd in 2000. Increasing consumptive use will progressively
reduce instream flows. There are shortage problems already noted inhighly
developing areas in the upper reaches of some of the river basins such as
north-central North Carolina, the Atlanta metropolitan area, and the Bir-
mingham area. Also, peninsular Florida, which experiences seasonal low
flows, will have to depend more upon development of ground water. A
number of coastal areas are experiencing large drawdowns because of heavy
ground-water pumping; salt-water intrusion is a threat. Timely, extensive
planning and management of the water resources will be necessary in these
Coordinated management of streams, as well as withdrawals, will be
necessary to provide for instream flow needs. Fisheries resources, water
quality, hydroelectric power generation, recreation, and navigational uses
of the streamflows are important to the region's economy. Flows for these
purposes are critical at some locations and must be closely managed.
Table 3-6 presents a comparative analysis of the National Future (NF)
and State-Regional Future (SRF) with regard to estimates of streamflows
and water needs in the South Atlantic-Gulf Region. In many instances the
SRF data agree with the NF data in individual subregions, but totals for
the region differ. The totals for flows reflect total outflows from the
nine subregions of the South Atlantic-Gulf Water Resources Region.
VOLUME | 23
Table 3-6.--Socioeconomic and volumetric data summary: the South Atlantic-Gulf Region
1975 1985 2000
NF SRF NF SRF NF SRF
SOCIOECONOMIC DATA (1000)
Total population 25,423 26,164 29,334 30,736 34,680 36,761
Total employment 10,345 10,518 12,282 12,682 14,727 15,542
VOLUMETRIC DATA (mgd)
Streamflow at outflow
228,010 228,036 225,766 227,960 222,485 227,443
Fish and wildlife
NE Not estimated.
a SRF domestic water use includes commercial and institutional requirements.
b SRF public lands water use includes fish hatcheries requirements.
c SRF lists legal requirements only; data were developed by specific river basins.
24 | SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
The difference betweenSRF and NF data reflect differences in assump-
tions, goals, and objectives at the regional and State level versus those
at the national level. There is an assumption at the regional level that
water withdrawals will tend to increase at a fairly high rate because of
an abundance of water and that, with proper planning and management, water
will not be a constraining factor to growth. On the contrary, NF data
assume a large reuse of water by 2000. The assumption made for the SRF
that withdrawals will tend to increase is supported by the fact that only
11 percent of the available surface water is presently being withdrawn
and, based on the projection for the year 2000, 15 percent will be with-
drawn. Secondly, differences in manufacturing water use estimates reflect
the assumption in the SRF data that no major changes will take place in
the reuse of water. The NF data shows manufacturing plants going to a
practice of large reuse of water by 2000, thus reducing the total manu-
facturing withdrawals in the future. Some of the SRF manufacturing water
use data on central systems could not be separated for tabular analysis.
The SRF data reflect a significant expansion of central public water
systems to serve outlying areas, and they show a larger percentage of
the future population being served by these systems than the NF data
ISuch differences are not surprising for reasons given in the "Foreword."
Changes may be expected as time goes on. When policy decisions are to
be made, the effects at State, regional, and local levels should be
carefully considered in light of conditions that exist at that time.
VOLUME I 25
The status of totalwater supply and use in the region is excellent,
but there are a number of problems in specific areas related to the avail-
ability, quality, and use of the water resources. These problems, which
have been identified by the State and Federal agencies participating in
this assessment, will affect economic growth in these specific areas unless
resolved. The "CategoryA" severe problems, those needing further studies
before solutions can be recommended, include a brief description of the
problem. The "Category B" problems, those that have been or are being
studied in sufficient detail to recommend an implementable solution, are
listed after the discussion of the "Category A" problems and covered in
detail under separate cover in a report prepared by the Southeast Basins
Inter-Agency Committee during earlier stages of the national assessment.
Water Quantity, Fresh Surface
Several major urban areas were identified as facing critical water
shortages that would hinder growth and development by the year 2000.
Generally water was not available in sufficient quantity or quality from
either surface- or ground-water sources in the immediate area of need and
would have to be allocated from adjoining river basin(s) which in many
cases involve an interstate stream. The areas with problems are:
1. Chowan-Lower Roanoke -- The rapidly growing southeastern Virginia
area, Hampton Roads-Portsmouth, is spilling over into north-
eastern North Carolina. Solutions to the area's water needs
require, and may continue to require, interbasin transfers of
water. These transfers will result in losses to downstream
users in the region.
2. North-Central North Carolina -- The highly urbanized areas
of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, Durham,
Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Asheboro place excessive demands on
streamflows in the upper reaches of two adjoining river basins
and may also require interbasin transfers from two additional
interstate river basins. Long-range needs point up the necessity
to utilize all possible flows in the upper reaches of the Tar-
Neuse and Cape Fear River Basins. There may also be significant
interbasin transfers from the Yadkin-Pee Dee and Dan Rivers.
Highly detailed water management plans for water quantity and
quality will be necessary in order to provide for the area's
needs. Complicating these problems will be the necessity to
store and control floodwaters, control sedimentation, and meet
downstream flow needs for fisheries resources, power generation,
3. Southeast North Carolina-- This highly industrialized southeast
North Carolina area involving six counties in the lower Cape Fear
26 | SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
River Basin will need large quantities of water which can probably
be developed from the lower Cape Fear River. Management of the
waters is needed to protect other uses as well as meet water
supply needs. Ground water is a possible alternative. Some
interbasin water transfers may take place.
4. Saluda Sub-Basin --A highly industrialized corridor along Inter-
state 85 through northern South Carolina places large demands on
existing water sources. Interbasin transfers may be necessary
to meet some of the area's needs. These transfers will involve
water from the Savannah River Basin, an interstate stream. Down-
stream problem needs on the Saluda River will also require
solution with possible interbasin transfers from the Savannah
River Basin. Large downstream needs on the Savannah River may
be jeopardized by these transfers.
5. Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (Atlanta Metro Area) -- Large
demands to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding population in
the large Atlanta Metro Area cannot be met from existing stream
sources in the immediate area. Major changes may be necessary in
Federal reservoir operations, and other water-resource management
techniques must be developed to insure adequate water quantity
and quality to meet expanding needs. Existing interbasin trans-
fers of water involve three major river basins, two in the
Chattahoochee River will be allocated by the year 2000.
6. Black Warrior-Cahaba --Major water needs are developing as the
result of rapid industrial and urban expansion. Other competing
uses suchas power, navigation, andwater quality make itneces-
sary that water-resource management be initiated. Interbasin
water transfers occur from the Cahaba River Basin, reducing
flows to extremely low flow conditions at certain periods of
the year. Flows needed for assimilation of wastes may not be
7. Mobile and Pascagoula --High water demands to serve industries
and municipalities occur in the Mobile and Pascagoula areas.
There is competition for the same source of supply, the Escatawpa
River. Water resource management and State agreements are neces-
sary on this interstate stream. Worldwide commercial shipping
could be adversely affected since it moves through the Mobile
and Pascagoula ports.
Severe water quantity (fresh surface) problems classified as "Category
B" occur in the following areas: Southeast South Carolina Coast, Savannah-
Ogeechee, St. Johns, South Florida, Southwest Florida, and Alabama-Coosa.
VOLUME 4 I 27
Water Quantity, Ground
Problems associatedwith ground-water resources are generally ones of
overpumping, low yields, andwater quality. Overpumping of an aquifer can
lead to a water quality problem if the ground-water table is lowered so
much that salt-water intrusion becomes a threat. Areas in the Piedmont
Province have problems in low or possibly inadequate yields. Limestone
areas may have large quantities of water but quality often becomes a
problem and restricts use of these aquifers. The following issues deal
1. Franklin Area -- Heavy pumping by a single large industry has
resulted in significant lowering of the water tables for distances
of up to 30 miles. Chlorides are higher in the pumped aquifer
to the east. Potential yields at this one location may have
already been reached.
2. Beaufort County Area -- Ground-water withdrawals to depressure
the confined aquifer system for phosphate dry open pit mining
have lowered the potentiometric surface over an area of more
than 800 square miles in this North Carolina area. Potential
mining operations could almost double the existing pumping rate,
thus creating additional problems for this area.
3. Suwannee and Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (Southwest Geor-
gia) -- Heavy ground-water pumping for municipal, industrial,
and irrigation water use in an area of numerous limestone sinks
in southern Georgia and northern Florida poses a threat from
subsidence of land surfaces. The extent of the problem is not
well known and the limitations necessary to solve it have not
been defined. Ground-water withdrawals may have to be reduced
to control the problem. This problem could develop in adjacent
counties of Alabama.
4. Tombigbee inMississippi -- Poorly productive ground-water aqui-
fers intheTombigbee River Basin could be a limiting factor in
development of the area. With the completion of theTennessee-
Tombigbee Waterway, demands for water in the adjacent areas will
increase, placing stresses on existing sources. Water quality is
also poor in some portions of this same area in Mississippi.
Severe ground-water quantity problems classified as "Category B"
occur in the following areas: Grand Strand, South Florida, and Southwest
28 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Water Quantity, Surface/Depth
This problem is associatedwith the provision of adequate navigation
depths to meet the needs of the region.
Lower Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River, Florida --An existing
navigation channel in the Apalachicola River in Florida does not have
sufficient project-designed depths under low flow conditions to support
barge traffic enroute to Bainbridge, Georgia on the Flint River and to
Columbus, Georgia-PhenixCity, Alabama on the Chattahoochee River. Solu-
tions of the problem could impact on environmental resources in Florida.
Increasing consumptive use of water, evaportation losses on large
reservoirs, and possible interbasin transfers in the Atlanta Metro Area
could further reduce available flows for navigation.
Severe navigation surface/depth problems classified as "Category B"
occur in the following areas: Lower Tar-Neuse, Lower Cape Fear, Coosa
above Montgomery, Black Warrior, Tombigbee, and Mobile-Lower Tombigbee.
Water Quality, Fresh Surface
Water quality problems from point and nonpoint sources are to be
addressed in the 208 water-quality management plans that are being developed
by designated 208 planning agencies under Public Law 92-500. The entire
region is covered by 208 planning grants by area or statewide. Some of
these, however, are under-funded, and some problems cannot be adequately
covered under existing grants. Others are so complex that 208 planning
must be integrated with other water resource studies to be implementable.
Those needing further evaluations and/or integration with other studies
1. Yadkin-Pee Dee -- Point and nonpoint source pollution that reaches
streams and reservoirs throughout the basin is reducing water
quality for recreation, water supply, and fisheries resources.
Prime recreational areas could be affected and the area's economy
seriously jeopardized. Weed growth and eutrophication is threat-
ening water areas for many uses. Wild and scenic river areas
are also threatened.
VOLUME 4 29
2. Catawba-Broad-Saluda Residual waste loads from a number of
large metropolitan and industrial areas and nonpoint source pol-
lution are placing a high demand on the area's waters to as-
similate these wastes. Evaporation losses and peaking power
operations with their resultant off-peak low flows compound
these problems at a number of locations. Nutrient loads to
hydropower reservoirs are causing eutrophic conditions and are
threatening recreational areas.
3. Lower Chattahoochee and Atlanta Metropolitan Area -- Basinwide
water quality problems occur along with a number of concentrated
problems inAtlanta and Columbus, and there is a need to develop
integrated solutions. Complicated interbasin transfers through
waste discharges in theAtlantaMetroArea may affect downstream
uses. Environmental effects need consideration along with ground-
water problems. Streamflows are highly regulated for power
production, navigation, flood control, and recreation. Increas-
ing consumptive uses, evaporation, and losses due to interbasin
transfers need consideration in a basinwide water-resources man-
4. Coosa in Georgia -- The highly industrialized area in Dalton
presents problems of a technical nature in the handling of carpet
manufacturing wastes. Water supply needs, scheduling of reservoir
releases, and a water resource management program are other con-
siderations needing solutions concurrently with the water quality
5. Upper Pearl -- The combination of agricultural runoff, large
municipal and industrial waste loads, and a shallow receiving
water supply reservoir (Ross Barnett Reservoir) present unique
problems that may not be solved by a 208 water quality planning
study. Excessive weed growth is occurring in this reservoir above
Jackson on the Pearl River.
Severe fresh surface-water quality problems classified as "Category B"
occur in the following areas: Lower Chowan-Lower Roanoke, Upper Tar-Neuse,
Upper Cape Fear, Savannah-Ogeechee, St. Johns, South Florida, Southwest
Florida, Suwanee, and Black Warrior.
Water Quality, Ground
Ground-water quality is most often affected by natural substances
such as iron, hydrogen, sulfide, calcium carbonate, etc., which make it
unsuitable, without treatment, for municipaland industrial water supply.
This source can also be affected by man's operations, such as overpumping
and improper well drilling and construction. Man's operations can cause
salt-water encroachment problems or contamination from surface and under-
ground sources. Problem issues involving ground-water quality are:
30 SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
1. South Carolina Fall Line Area -- Pollutants from natural sources
are causing water problems in this area and several adjacent
counties in the upper coastal plain. These include high iron
content, low pH, and related corrosive elements. These conditions
make it costly for individual and small water users who must
provide water treatment and cannot afford more expensive surface-
water sources. Low ground-water yields along the Fall Line also
complicate the problem.
2. Southeast South Carolina Coast and Northeast Georgia Coast -
Heavy ground-water withdrawals in Savannah, Georgia, have created
a cone of depression in ground-water levels reaching into south-
east South Carolina. Additional pumping will lower the ground-
water table and accelerate salt-water intrusion. Alternate
sources of fresh surface-water will cost considerably more.
3. Southeast Georgia and Northeast Florida -- Heavy ground-water
withdrawals have resulted in brackish water encroachment in
Brunswick, Georgia. Heavy withdrawals to the north in Savannah
and to the south inSt. Marys have resulted in a lowering of the
ground-water table. Increased ground-water pumping to meet
high future needs could result in salt-water intrusion.
4. Southwest Georgia (Apalachicola)-Chattahoochee-Flint and Suwan-
nee) Limestone sinks permit surface water seepage into under-
ground cavities and into the aquifer. Contamination of the aquifer
may occur by this route from surface sources as well as septic
tank systems. This condition could affect aquifer systems in
the adjoining counties of Alabama.
5. Tombigbee -- The presence of natural elements in amounts greater
than recommended drinking water standards increases costs of
water treatment. There are problems with iron, fluorides, hy-
drogen sulfide, hardness, and chlorides. Some salt water is en-
countered at greater depths in coastal plain counties of Alabama.
6. Mobile-Lower Tombigbee Highly mineralized water has risen
into the heavily utilized ground-water aquifer. There is also an
area of little or no potable water in a northwest trending belt
from west-central Alabama extending into Mississippi. Drilling
for oil and gas and deep-well injection of liquidwastes are also
potential sources of contamination of the ground-water aquifer.
7. Pascagoula There is plenty of water in the coastal area but
it is degraded in quality. There is high iron content, low pH,
and corrosiveness of water in other parts of the basin. There are
unknown problems associated with deep-well injection of liquid
VOLUME 4 31
Severe ground-water quality problems classified as "Category B" occur
in Grand Strand and St. Johns.
Water Quality, Marine and Estuarine
Extensive development of coastal areas for recreation, industry, and
commercial navigation is placing great stresses on sensitive aquatic and
marine environments. Much of this environment is used as nursery areas
for the Atlantic and Gulf fisheries resources and as harvesting areas for
a large shellfish industry. Pollution of these coastal areas jeopardizes
these resources and affects the quality of the water used for swimming,
skiing, and other water contact sports. Problem areas are:
1. North Carolina Coast -- Natural nutrients, plus those from munici-
pal and industrial residual wastes, are causing eutrophication in
the lower ChowanRiver and Albemarle Sound. High nutrient loads
from large farming operations occur in Albemarle and Pamlico
Sounds. Bacterialpollution is closing shellfish areas for har-
vesting as well as threatening a major recreational area. Fresh-
water diversions are altering salinity levels.
2. Grand Strand -- Large areas are closed to shellfish harvesting
because of bacterial and chemical pollution. Highly sensitive
recreational waters are also subject to pollution if not ade-
quately controlled. Anadromous fish runs and marine nursery
areas are threatened.
3. Southeast South Carolina Coast -- Waste discharges in the Charles-
ton and Beaufort County coastal areas have caused closing of
shellfish harvesting areas. Rediversion of fresh-water flows
from the Cooper River will change salinities in Charleston Harbor
and the mouth of the Santee River.
4. Mississippi Coast -- Water quality degradation has caused closing
of shellfish areas and threatens recreational beach areas. The
lower reaches of streams in the Pascagoula area have degraded
water quality, thus their use is affected.
Marine and estuarine water quality problems classified as "Category B"
occur along the northeast Florida coast and in the Mobile area.
32 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Related Lands, Flooding
Tropical storms originating in the South Atlantic area move inland
or along the coast, bringing heavy rainfall to the southeastern United
States, causing flooding conditions. These occur in late summer and early
fall. Intense rainfall over a short period or extended rainfall over
several days can also produce flooding conditions in the region's streams.
Coastal, urban, and agricultural areas are subject to flood damages by
swollen streams and high tides. Problem areas are:
1. North Carolina Coast -- Tropical storms and northeasters can
bring damaging winds and rains toNorth Carolina's coastal areas
and barrier islands. Resort areas, croplands, shipping inter-
ests, and urban areas are subject to damage. Most highly suscep-
tible to damage are large coastal farms, resort and beachareas,
national seashore areas, and navigation facilities.
2. Yadkin-Pee Dee -- Stream flooding causes extensive damage to urban
areas and agricultural lands throughout the basin. There are
95 flood prone communities in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Economic losses are the result of this flooding. There are
two authorized but unconstructed projects (Reddics River and
Roaring River) that would greatly reduce damages.
3. Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint -- Local urban flood damages
continue to occur on small tributary streams in urban areas
such as Atlanta, Macon, and Albany. Major flood control struc-
tures have alleviated many flooding problems on the Chattahoochee
River but limited flood protection is provided on the Flint River.
Lack of flood-plain management has further complicated the prob-
Severe flooding problems classified as "Category B" occur in the
following areas: Upper Roanoke, Tar-Neuse, Upper Cape Fear, Saluda Sub-
Basin, St. Johns, South Florida, Southwest Florida, Alabama-Coosa, Tom-
bigbee, Pascagoula, and Pearl.
Related Lands, Drainage
Lack of drainage in areas with excess surface and subsurface waters
results in loss of production or prevention of use of agricultural lands.
The area with a substantial problem is:
VOLUME 4 33
Lower Cape Fear --Loss of substantial farmlands for production occurs
because of excess moisture. Drainage may cause loss of some wildlife
habitat. In this area 18 percent of the total acreage has drainage problems.
Severe drainage problems classified as "Category B" occur in the
following areas: Northeast North Carolina, Tar-Neuse, and Yakin-Pee Dee.
Related Lands, Erosion/Sediment
Land use practices and construction activities cause increased erosion
and movement of sediment into stream channels, reservoirs, navigation
channels, and estuaries. Water quality is also degraded because of the
presence of this sediment and suspended material loads. Problem areas
1. Lower Cape Fear -- Sheet, streambank, and coastal area erosion
is taking place in the coastal plain portion of this basin below
Fayetteville, North Carolina. Over 15 percent of the land is
affected. Extensive erosion is occurring along streambanks and
beach areas. Future coastal storms will cause tremendous damages.
2. Catawba-Broad-Saluda --Highly erodable Piedmont soils are being
heavily eroded by land-use practices and construction activities.
Reservoirs are losing storage capacity because of a high sediment
accumulation. Heavy shoaling occurs in Charleston Harbor.
3. Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint-- All of the area, except the
coastal uplands, is subject to erosion problems. Conversion
of croplands to forestland and pastureland has eased the problem
somewhat, but substantial erosion and sediment problems still
exist. Construction activities add to the problem. Reservoir
capacity is being decreased because of accumulating sediments.
4. Florida Coast -- Wind and wave actions are eroding Florida beaches
and reducing their usefulness as resort and swimming areas.
Beach restoration is necessary to maintain usable beaches, and
large expenditures are required for this restoration.
5. Mobile-Lower Tombigbee --Land, streambank, and coastal erosion
is occurring, causing deposition of large sediment loads inMobile
Bay. Over 7 million cubic yards of sediment must be removed
annually from river channels and the bay near Mobile. Beach
erosion results in loss of recreational areas and threatens
34 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Severe erosion/sediment problems, classified as "Category B" occur
in the following areas: Upper Roanoke, Tar-Neuse, Yadkin-Pee Dee, Choc-
tawhatchee in Alabama, Tombigbee, and Black Warrior.
Related Lands, Water-Related Use Conflicts
Lack of landuse controls and failure to implement them, competition
for lands, and lack of water-resource management, coastal zone management,
and environmental controls lead to exploitation of the area's resources.
This often results in the destruction of resources that cannot be renewed,
thus causing long-term damages. Problem areas are:
1. North Carolina-- Failure to implement land use controls, compe-
tition for land and water, overdevelopment of coastal zones, lack
of proper management of mountain area resources, and destruction
of scenic and natural areas are causing statewide problems. Lack
of programs and necessary financing to control these conflicts
further complicate the problems and delay an early solution.
2. Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint --Extensive urban development
in the upper and central portions of this basin are competing
with recreation, hydropower, and navigation for basin waters.
Allocation of surface waters will be necessary to maintain ex-
pected rates of growth in the Atlanta Metro Area. Deepening
of navigation channels may lead to destruction of environmental
resources. There are no interstate agreements nor is there a
water resource management plan for the basin. Environmentally
sensitive areas needing protection are the wild and scenic rivers
in the upper reaches of the basin, the recreation corridor from
Buford Dam to Atlanta, the Apalachicola River in Florida, and
the estuarine areas.
3. Mobile-Lower Tombigbee --Industrial development on the Tennes-
see-Tombigbee Waterway will compete with recreation, fishing,
and other uses for land and water resources. Lack of land use
controls will result in long-term effects to the area. Disposal
of dredged materials has caused conflicts in the past. Presently,
plans are to use 3,000-4,000 acres of Mobile Bay bottoms for
disposal of 66 million cubic yards of dredged materials.
4. Pascagoula --Lack of land use controls is resulting in develop-
ment of wetlands, thus jeopardizing the habitat of the sandhill
crane. There is also a lack of control in flood plains and
coastal zone areas.
Severe water-related use conflicts classified as "Category B" occur
on the South Carolina Coast, Suwannee, and Mobile-Lower Tombigbee.
VOLUME 4 36
Individual Problem Areas
The Southeast Basin Inter-Agency Committee identified specific severe
problems that could be grouped into two types of study areas. The first
group consists of those areas with a number of interrelated problems that
need to be evaluated through studies, and solutions recommended. This
type of area would be a Level "B" study area. Second, there were areas
with a single problem or only a few problems that could be evaluated
by a specific study and for which solutions could be recommended. These
were smaller scale projects and are referred to as other major planning
studies. The problem areas are as follows:
A. Level "B" Study Areas
Cape Fear-North-Central North Carolina
B. Other Major Planning Study Areas
Southeast South Carolina Coast
Coosa in Georgia
Central North Carolina Coast
Southeast South Carolina Coast, Georgia Coastal
Plain and Northern Florida
Figure 3-8a identifies the locations of the 15 areas. A tabulation of
the type of problems found in each of the 15 areas is given in Figure 3-8b.
A summary describing each area, its problems, and effects, follows. Monetary
damages and magnitude (in 1975 dollars unless otherwise noted) from existing
problems are shown where they could be calculated.
The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin, with 64 counties, lies
in north and west Georgia, southeast Alabama, and in the eastern portion
of the Florida panhandle. Major water resources are the Chattahoochee,
Flint, Chipola, and Apalachicola Rivers; Lake Blackshear, Lake Lanier,
Lake Seminole, West Point Reservoir, Lake Harding, Bartletts Ferry Lake,
Lake Walter F. George, Lake George W. Andrews, and the Gulf Intracoastal
Waterway, as well as navigation channels on the Apalachicola and Chattaho-
ochee to Columbus, Georgia-Phenix City, Alabama.
36 1 SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
LL Subregion No
SI, ALA BAMA,
? ;I I ,
SCALE 1 8.700.000
0 100 200
Figure 3-8a. Problem Map
S U4H'.. R L!
R- i T47
VOLUME 4 I 37
SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION (3)
0- Identified by Federal Agency X= Identified by
Representatives State-Regional Representative
No. on map Name Water quantity Water quality Related lands
S1 1 1 1 11 1 1 I I
2 5 0 3 -0
Ma A a a 5
I* ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ u -,-ta*~ N T l 1
Cape Fear North Central, North Carolina ............
Chowan- Lower Roanoke-Pasquotank .................
Central North Carolina Coast .......................
Southeast South Carolina Coast .....................
Southeast S.C. Coast, Ga. Coastal Plain & No. Fla........
St. Johns-Suwanee/Southern Florida/Apalachicola/
Florida Coast ...................................
Black W arrior-Cahaba .............................
Coosa in Georgia ................................
Tom bigbee .....................................
Mobile-Lower Tombigbee ..........................
U pper Pearl ....................................
M ississippi Coast .................................
Figure 3-8b. Problem Matrix
38 1 SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
This Basin originates in the Blue Ridge Province and traverses the
Piedmont and Coastal Plain Provinces. Elevations of about 4,500 feet
above mean sea level occur in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northern
reaches of the basin. These are rugged, densely wooded mountains with
conspicuous relief and well-defined narrow valleys. The red hills of
the Piedmont Province range from about 1,200 feet elevation near the
mountains to about 600 feet at the Fall Line where the Piedmont Province
merges with the upper Coastal Plain Province. Here the valleys and slopes
are steep because of the sharp descent of the streams and rivers through
the Fall Line, which was at one time the shore of the ocean. From the
Fall Line, the upperCoastal Plain Province extends south some 170 miles.
This is a region of rolling plains with well-drained sandy soils and
many diversified farms. The smaller streams flow in low-banked, tree-
choked, meandering channels. The lower Coastal Plain Province is nearly
flat with many wetlands and marshes. The streams and rivers of this
region have wide flood plains. Much of the land is covered with pine
forests and swamps and is sometimes called the flatwoods. The land
bordering theGulf of Mexico is low and comparatively flat. The mainland
is sheltered by a narrow island barrier.
The Apalachicola River, which is the main stem of the river system,
lies wholly within the Coastal Plain Province in Florida and is formed
by the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers near theGeorgia-
Florida State line. The Apalachicola River is 113 miles long and is
600 to 800 feet wide in some areas, the upper and lower reaches being
the widest. The average regulated low-water flow at Chattahoochee, Florida
just below Jim Woodruff Dam (Lake Seminole), is about 15,500 cfs. Dense
hardwood swamps occupy the 10-mile wide flood plain. The Chattahoochee
River rises in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north Georgia and drains
8,770 square miles. The maximum width of its basin is 55 miles and
its length is 436miles. The upper reaches of the river and its headwaters
tributaries are characterized by the steep slope of mountain streams,
but below river mile (RM) 397 (18 miles above Gainesville, Georgia) the
slope is fairly uniform and averages 2.6 feet per mile to West Point
(RM 197). From West Point to Columbus (RM 160), as the river passes
through the Fall Line area, it falls at a rate of 10 feet per mile.
The Flint River rises just south of Atlanta and flows 350 miles
southerly in a wide eastward arc to its junction with the Chattahoochee
River. Its 8,460 square mile drainage basin is 215 miles long and 40
miles wide. Above RM 285 the river slope averages 2 feet per mile. For
the next 55 miles, the fall averages 2 feet per mile and as much as
48 feet per mile at the Fall Line. At Albany, the minimum regulated
flow is 327 cfs and the maximum flow of record is 92,000 cfs.
Ground-water sources in the 14-county southwest Georgia area, parts
of Alabama, and Gadsden County, Florida, are limestone aquifers of the
upper Coastal Plain Province. The area overlies a limestone formation
that is near the land surface and becomes thinner toward the south. It
is part of a general limestone formation that extends through large parts
of the coastal area in the South Atlantic-Gulf Region. North of the Fall
Line ground water is found in fractures within metamorphic and igneous
rocks or in the pore spaces of the weathered residuum of these rocks.
VOLUME 4 39
Well yields are small in this region.
Major population centers are Gainesville, metropolitan Atlanta, Co-
lumbus, Americus, Albany, and Bainbridge, Georgia; Dothan, Phenix City,
and Auburn-Opelika, Alabama; and Tallahassee, Florida. The 1975 population
was almost 3 million.
The authorized 9-foot depth navigation channel on the Apalachicola
River below Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam cannot be maintained at that depth
during low flow conditions in the fall. Solutions to the problem may
affect environmental resources inFlorida and shellfish resources inApa-
lachicola Bay. There are no long-term spoil easements to accommodate
dredging requirements on some reaches of the project.
The Atlanta Metro Area and adjoining counties will be using the
entire flow of the Chattahoochee River for water supply and water quality
by 2000. This may require modification in operation of hydropower projects
and will result in some interbasin water transfers. Downstream users
as well as users of these hydropower reservoirs will be affected.
Large volumes of wastes generated in the Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia,
areas will place excessive demands on streamflows to assimilate that waste.
These point sources plus nonpoint sources of pollution will degrade stream
water quality unless solutions are found to reduce this pollution. Small
screams originating in the Atlanta area are already seriously degraded in
Ground water levels in some areas of southwest Georgia appear to
be declining. Heavy water use is occurring for irrigation, domestic,
and industrial purposes. The ground-water aquifers are limestone and
sandstone, and some overlie permeable sands. Limestone sinks are occur-
ring because of excessive ground-water pumpage. These sinkholes could
allow the rapid recharge of shallow aquifers with poor quality surface
water in all three States. Drainage wells, septic tank systems, and
sanitary landfills could be sources for ground-water contamination.
Related Land Issues
The Chattahoochee River has benefited from major flood control proj-
ects, but the Flint River has not. A conflict has arisen over maintaining
the Flint River in its natural condition or developing it for flood control
and possibly for water supply. Local flooding continues on small streams
in urban areas such as Atlanta, Macon, and Albany.
Erosion of agricultural lands, streambanks, and lakeshores continues
to destroy valuable lands as well as introduce large sediment loads into
the streams and reservoirs. Beach and shoreline erosion occurs inFlorida.
40 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Institutional and Financial Issues
Conflicts in the use of the basin's waters, interbasin transfers,
water rights, and the high cost of water source development complicate
the technical solutions to problems. There are no interstate agreements
on the management of the basin's waters.
There is a need for more flood-plain management. Recent legislation
for allocation of ground and surface waters in Georgia does not cover
all users. There is alack of adequate legislation to manage the basin's
Conflicts have arisen in several areas of the Basin concerning the
maintenance of natural conditions versus development to meet specific
needs. The areas where these conflicts have arisen are the upper reaches
of the Chattahoochee River, the stretch of the Chattahoochee River from
Buford Dam toAtlanta, the upper Flint River, and the Apalachicola River.
Development of the basin's waters for navigation, flood control,
and hydropower may damage some of the environmental resources and natural
beauty of existing streams. Number of rare plants, fisheries resources,
and wildlife habitat could be damaged or altered by this development.
Restrictions in development of the water resources could result in some
loss in economic growth to the area.
Flood damages will continue to occur and will increase if measures
are not taken to control flooding and to restrict flood-plain development.
Approximately 200 communities continue to have flood problems. In urban
and developed areas, damage per acre is ten times the national average.
Floodwater and sediment damages are occurring on about 1 million acres
of agricultural land and approximately 30 thousand acres of urban lands.
Unless solutions are put into operation in the Atlanta Metro Area,
the present controlled flows of the Chattahoochee River will only be
sufficient for the population predicted for the area for 1985. Solutions
may require major changes in operation of large hydropower projects, thus
affecting the use of those projects for flood control, power production,
Point and nonpoint pollution will continue to degrade stream-water
quality which is already very low and cannot meet the 1983 national goals
in some parts of the basin.
Ground-water management may become a critical factor in protecting
this resource in southwest Georgia and adjoining States as water demand
continues to increase at a rapid rate. Heavy ground-water pumpage could
jeopardize water quality of the shallow aquifer system.
VOLUME 4 41
Apalachicola Bay produces up to 90 percent of Florida's oysters valued
at approximately $1.5 million annually (1967 dollars-$l million). Poten-
tial oyster production is several times higher. The Florida Department
of Natural Resources valued the Apalachicola Bay oyster production at $7
million in 1974. Damages to the ecosystem could reduce the oyster harvest.
Flooding damages are in excess of $12 million annually (1967 dollars-
$8 million). The developed urban and inland area damage is ten times the
national average. Streambank erosion amounts to almost $1.5 million per
year (1967 dollars-$l million).
The agricultural and livestock industry in a 14-county area of south-
west Georgia amounts to $199 to $250 million annually (1967 dollars-$130
to 163 million). About $30 million (1967 dollars-$20 million) of this
total is for vegetable production which depends heavily on groundwater
supplies and could be lost without this water for irrigation. Aquatic
weed growth on Lake Seminole alone requires an annual expenditure of
$9,965 (1967 dollars-$6,500) to keep small boat channels open.
Cape Fear-North Central North Carolina
The proposed study area covers 14,779 square miles, including a total
of 24 counties, 15 in the Cape Fear River Basin and nine in north-central
North Carolina. These 9 counties are part of a 12-county water supply-
water quality problem area consisting of Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Guil-
ford, Orange, Randolph, Stokes, Wake, and Yadkin counties, plus Alamance,
Chatham, and Moore Counties in the Cape Fear River Basin.
The Cape FearRiver Basin, with a drainage area of 9,223 square miles,
rises in the Piedmont Province in north-central North Carolina and flows
southeastward through the Coastal Plain Province to the Atlantic Ocean.
The large metropolitan area of Greensboro and the industrial area around
Burlington are located in the headwaters. Nearby metropolitan areas
whose growth is expanding into the headwaters areAsheboro, Winston-Salem,
Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill.
A navigation channel on the lower reaches of the Cape Fear River
extends up the main stem to Fayetteville, a distance of 143 miles. The
Northeast Cape Fear River, a 130-mile tributary entering the main stem
30 miles above its mouth, has a cleared channel for 103 miles. The
Wilmington area at the mouth of the Cape Fear River is an expanding
industrial area with a deep harbor. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway,
several smaller harbors, and ocean inlets provide connecting waterways
to serve the coastal area. New River, a coastal stream in Onslow County,
has a navigation channel and a flood control project. Also located along
the coast are a number of significant resort areas and beaches.
42 I SOUTH'ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Principal population centers are Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Burling-
ton, Asheboro, Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Sanford, Fayetteville, Jack-
sonville, and Wilmington. The 1975 population was 2.1 million.
The problem of water quantity and water quality for the north-central
North Carolina area is very complex. It involves water transfers, extensive
waste treatment with possibly advance wastes treatment, protection of major
water supply sources from pollution, and provisions for needs of downstream
users in the Cape Fear River Basin. There are also waste discharges to the
Cape Fear River Basin that are generated in other river basins.
The rapidly growing industrial and metropolitan 12-county area in
north-central North Carolina is located primarily on small headwater streams
with low flows, and ground water is not readily available. Possible
solutions could involve four major river basins and require elaborate
interconnecting water and sewerage systems, resulting in several inter-
basin water transfers. Two of the river basins involved are interstate
streams with numerous downstream users of the water.
Water quality problems occur in north-central North Carolina as the
result of discharges into streams with small flows and into reservoirs.
Since all available surface-water sources must be developed for future
water supply needs, high degrees of treatment of wastes or other methods
of protecting water quality must be planned to maintain stream standards
for water supply.
Shortages in available developed water sources to meet expanding needs
are also occurring in southeast North Carolina. Ground-water sources
are either not available in sufficient quantities or the quality is inade-
quate for a public water supply source.
Related Land Issues
Excess surface and subsurface waters prevent use of agricultural lands
for production of food and fiber in the lower Cape Fear River Basin.
Conversion of some of the wet soils to agricultural uses may not be their
Erosion and sedimentation are occurring as the result of harvesting
of timber, conversion of forestland to cropland and urban development;
wind action and coastal storms erode beach areas, and high stream flows
erode stream banks. Sediment loads generated in upstream areas are deposited
in streams and navigation channels. Reduction in stream carrying-capacity
increases flooding, and deposition of sediment in navigation channels
increases the costs of maintaining adequate depths for navigation. Sedi-
ments also damage aquatic habitat and commercial fisheries.
VOLUME 4 | 43
Tropical hurricanes occasionally move up the East Coast producing
heavy rains and tidal flooding of beaches. Recreational areas, structures,
roads, farmlands, and historical sites are damaged by the associated
flooding, and erosion of beaches and shorelines occurs.
Institutional and Financial Issues
There are conflicts over the use of water and related lands. The
State of North Carolina has entered and expects to continue a period of
vigorous economic growth. Conversions of agriculturaland forested lands
to urban and industrial development are resulting in losses of land for
agricultural production. Higher property values result from the development
of flood plains for urban and industrial uses and have greatly increased
the economic loss from floods. Lack of a management program for planning
and controlling the use of flood plains results in conflicts of use of
land and water. Lack of a fully implemented coastal zone management program
results in conflicts in use of wetlands, beaches, and associated water
With existing storage andwith storage that is presently proposed and
under construction, there will be a water shortage by the year 2000 of 100
mcd for the north-central North Carolina area (excluding the two water
service areas of Winston-Salem and Asheboro now using the Yadkin River).
A general shortage will start around 1990, and growth of the area will be
constrained beyond that time. Stokes, Yadkin, Forsyth, and Randolph Counties
are not expected to be restricted in growth because of availability of
water from the Dan and Yadkin Rivers.
Substantial acreage has already been drained and made available for
agricultural production and other uses in the lower Cape Fear. In this
area of over 3,500,000 acres, approximately 628,000 acres have a drainage
Stream segments designated or proposed as scenic rivers will be
jeopardized for this use if water quality is allowed to deteriorate.
There are 495 miles designated in the Cape Fear River Basin. Anadromous
fish runs on the Cape Fear River could also be affected.
Critical erosion is occurring on 66 miles of beach and non-critical
erosion on another 32 miles of beach. Critical erosion occurs on 20 miles
of the bay/estuary shoreline and non-critical erosion on 232miles. Stream-
bank erosion occurs on 396 miles of stream in the entire Cape Fear River
Basin. The sediment load damages downstream areas and results in flooding/
sedimentation damages in flood plains, damage to fisheries habitat and
commercial fishing, and clogging of stream and navigation channels. Flood-
water and sediment damage occurs on 535,000 acres, of which 10,000 acres
are in urban areas, and the remainder, agricultural land.
44 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Degradation of coastal water quality could seriously affect recre-
ational potential, and shellfish grounds. An estimated 35,000 acres are
closed to shellfish harvesting in the coastal area due to bacterial pol-
lution. Potential annual monetary losses associated with the closing
of shellfish areas are estimated at $10.6 million ($6.9 million in 1967
An estimated $2.8 million ($1.8 million in 1967 dollars) in agri-
cultural production is lost annually due to drainage problems.
If population growth and per capital income are constrained in north-
central North Carolina at the1990 level because of lackof water, annual
economic losses could reach $5.5 billion by 2000 (1967 dollars-$3.6 billion).
If this restriction also occurs in the lower Cape Fear River Basin, an
additional economic loss of $2.1 billion annually in 1975 dollars in
the year 2000 (1967 Dollars-$1.4 billion) could occur in that area.
The effect of coastal problems on the North Carolina coastal tourist
industry, estimated at $100 million annually (1967 dollars-$65 million),
is not known,.
The problem area lies in 29 counties in west-central North Carolina
and central South Carolina above Lake Marion, encompassing 15,523 square
miles. Major water resources include the Catawba, Broad, Saluda, and
CongareeRivers; and Lakes James, Norman, Wylie, William C. Bowen, Fishing
Creek, Wateree, Greenwood, and Murray. Major geographic provinces are
the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain. The Fall Line traverses
the area in a northeast-southwest direction at Columbia. Major land
resources represented are the Blue Ridge, Southern Piedmont, and Georgia
and Carolina Sand Hills.
The Catawba River Basin rises on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge
Mountains in the Blue Ridge Province and flows through the Piedmont Province
and into the upper reaches of the Coastal Plain Province. The name of
the Catawba River changes to the Wateree River at the mouth of Big Wateree
Greek near Great Falls, South Carolina. The Wateree River joins the
Congaree River in the headwaters of Lake Marion to form the Santee River.
The main stem of the Catawba-Wateree River has been highly develop-
ed for hydropower production. The free-flowing river has been greatly
modified and low flows reduced. Drainage area is 3,253 square miles in
North Carolina and 4,400 square miles in South Carolina.
The Broad River Basin rises in the Blue Ridge Province on the eastern
slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern North Carolina. It
flows in a general eastward direction inNorth Carolina and southeastward
through the Piedmont Province in South Carolina. Total drainage area
VOLUME 4 46
is 7,850 square miles 1,503 square miles in North Carolina and 6,348
square miles in South Carolina.
The Saluda River rises in the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern
South Carolina and flows southeastward to join the Broad River at the
Fall Line near Columbia. Two major impoundments, Lake Greenwood and
Lake Murray, are used for hydropower production and recreation. Lake
Greenwood is also used as a water supply source.
The Saluda and Broad Rivers join near Columbia to form the Congaree
River which flows southeastward through the Congaree Swamp to join the
Wateree River at the headwaters of Lake Marion. The Congaree Swamp National
Monument southeast of Columbia is a natural area with many record size
trees. The Congaree River Flood Plain Forest in the area comprises 12
thousand acres; oaks and gums are the dominant tree species with an occa-
Principal population centers are Lenoir, Morganton, Hickory, Kanna-
polis, Gastonia, Charlotte, Marion, and Shelby, North Carolina; and Rock
Hill, Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg, South Carolina. The total
1975 population for the area was 2.4 million.
This area is characterized by rapidly developing industry, primarily
along four interstate highways that criss-cross the area. The economy
is changing from rural-agricultural to urban-industrial. Major portions
of this development are taking place in headwater areas of the basins
near existing population centers where water is limited for supplies and
waste assimilation. Also, the highly erodable Piedmont soils in a large
part of the study area compound water use problems because the silt-laden
streams are poor fisheries habitats, siltation reduces reservoir capa-
bilities, and water quality is degraded. Ground water in the Piedmont
is impractical to develop for large users and is therefore used primarily
by individuals and small users. Ground water along the Fall Line is
of questionable quality and quantity in many locations.
The impoundment and regulation of waters of the Catawba-Wateree River
Basin have resulted in considerable alteration of national flows. Reduc-
tions in low flows and the lack of controls on withdrawals and maintenance
of minimum flows in North Carolina complicate the instream use of the
basin's waters for fishery resources, waste assimilation, and scenic values.
Designing waste treatment facilities to meet water quality requirements
for the changing streamflow conditions and to protect impounded water
quality is difficult. In planning for steam electric generating facilities,
the possibility of heated effluents further complicates water quality
46 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
In the Broad River Basin, problems are primarily water supply needs,
erosion and sedimentation, and some flooding. As the area develops, addi-
tional storage must be sought for water supply. Some small water supply
reservoirs, as well as industrial hydropower reservoirs, have already been
abandoned because of siltation. Flooding occurs primarily along small
streams in urban areas. This rapidly developing and highly industrialized
area of South Carolina will need large quantities of water in areas where
surface waters are scarce. Impoundments and interbasin transfers may become
necessary to meet additional demands and these should be investigated.
The Saluda River Basin is a rapidly developing industrial area of
South Carolina. The low stream flows are generally not sufficient for
any large, dependable yields or wastes assimilation. Therefore, any large
surface-water needs would have to be developed through impoundments or
by interbasin transfers.
Related Land Issues
The highly erodable soils of the Piedmont Province and rolling land
surfaces are ideal conditions for erosion and siltation. Construction
activities for highways and land development have added to the problem.
Cutting of timber from steep-sloped land surfaces also exposes the soils
to the elements, causing increased land erosion. Large sediment loads
carried into flood plains, streams, farm ponds, natural lakes, and reser-
voirs result in siltation of those areas. Storage capacities of water
supply, recreational, and hydropower reservoirs are reduced. Soil ero-
sion also results in destruction or reduction in value of lands used for
agriculture and wildlife.
A great amount of damage occurs to fish and wildlife habitats in the
Piedmont Province portion of this area due to rapid runoff and erodible
soil conditions. Excessive levels of turbidity and suspended solids from
this runoff are found in the streams. Conditions are aggravated by erosion
from agricultural and logging operations plus highway and development
Institutional and Financial Issues
A number of water-related use conflict occur in the North Carolina
portion of this area. The State of North Carolina has entered and expects
to continue a period of vigorous economic growth. This is characterized
by large scale conversions of agricultural and forestland to urban uses.
The use of land for such purposes generally is to the detriment of other
uses such as recreation and fish and wildlife habitat. Higher property
values resulting from the development of flood plains for urban and in-
dustrial uses have greatly increased economic loses from flooding. Lack
of a management program for planning and controlling the use of flood
plains results in conflicts over use of land and water. Poor land man-
agement practices have resulted in unnecessary erosion and sedimentation.
VOLUME 4 47
There is no North Carolina water management policy for minimum re-
leases below impoundments, controls of withdrawals, streamflow regula-
tion, or management of lake levels. In certain locations excessive with-
drawals deplete streamflows to such an extent that availability of water
for downstream users is diminished with adverse environmental effects.
The mountain region of North Carolina is experiencing a rapid in-
crease in second-home and recreational developments. These developments
take place on steep-sloped sites and in valleys at lower elevations. An
attendant problem with this rapid development is absentee ownership of
the more valuable developable sites. Some of these large-scale develop-
ments have altered the landscape of the most scenically valuable regions.
Additionally, some developments remain uncompleted because of underfinan-
cing and other reasons.
The growth and development of this area will depend on the wise de-
velopment and utilization of its water resources. The upper reaches of
the area are inherently limited by small natural streamflows that, with-
out impoundments, cannot yield the water that would be necessary.
Expanding industrial development in the Saluda River Basin will be
limited by the availability of water. Even though Spartanburg, Greenville,
and Pickens Counties have developed long-range plans to meet their water
needs, the remaining portion of the basin does not have such plans. The
fact that Greenville and Pickens Counties may grow industrially will com-
plicate the problems for counties downstream because the upper counties
will be discharging more wastes into the downstream waters.
An estimated 82,000 acres of land in the study area are subject to
serious erosion dapnages. Over 60 percent of the land of the area has
some erosion problem.
Several of the large lakes are in an early eutrophic stage as the
result of excessive nutrients. Fecal coliform counts are high in a num-
ber of streams and in a few of the tributary arms of the large lakes. If
not corrected, these water quality problems will increase with growth
of the area, and the recreational and water supply uses of the streams
and lakes will be jeopardized.
Uncontrolled development and use of water resources inNorth Carolina
by various entities acting for their own purposes have resulted in condi-
tions that cause streamflows to be abnormally reduced during drought con-
ditions. This results in diminished water quantity, water quality, and
water-based recreation. Water uses affected would be water supply, fish-
eries resources, and recreation.
Uncontrolled use of flood plains results in damages and often compounds
flooding problems. There are 3,571 thousand acres in South Carolina and
161 thousand acres in North Carolina subject to flooding and sediment
48 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Failure to solve the mountainous area's conflict problems will re-
sult in further decreases in the environmental quality of the mountains
by an accelerated reduction in natural scenery, increased erosion and
sedimentation, and decreases in water quality. If sound guidance for
development is not provided, such development may result in irrevocable
damage to land and water resources. There may also be losses in the
tourism industry in areas most affected.
The construction costs of industrial and municipal wastes treatment
plants for the North Carolina portion of this area will approach $0.5
billion (1975 dollars) with annual operating costs to exceed $14 million
Flood damages inNorth Carolina are estimated at $3.86 million(1975
dollars). Losses in South Carolina have not be estimated.
If population and per capital income in a three-county area (Greenwood,
Laurens, Saluda) in South Carolina is constrained after 1985 because of water
shortages, then the loss in projected economic growth would be $586 mil-
lion annually in the year 2000 (1967 dollars-$382 million). Constraints
on per capital income and economics growthof 36 percent of the population
of the Fall Line Counties after 1980 because of water shortages would re-
strict projected economic growth with a loss of $1.7 billion annually
in the year 2000 (1967 dollars-$l.l million).
Annual erosion damages are estimated at approximately $3 million
(1967 dollars-$2 million). Sediment loads result in storage capacity
reduction of 4,400 acre-feet/year in major reservoirs which is valued at
$530,000 annually (1967 dollars-$345,000).
A 24-county area comprises the Chowan River Basin, the southeast
Virginia area, the lower Roanoke River Basin from John H. Kerr Dam to
the river's mouth, and the Pasquotank River Basin in southeast Virginia
and northeast North Carolina. This area drains into Currituck, Albe-
marle, Roanoke, and Croatan Sounds and that portion of Pamlico Sound in
Dare County. The basin is primarily in the Coastal Plain Province, but
part of the Chowan River Basin is in the Piedmont Province. Included
is the water service area of the Southeastern Water Authority of Virginia
which is already obtaining water from the Chowan River Basin and is pro-
posing to obtain more water from the Chowan and Roanoke River Basins.
The basin encompasses 9,386 square miles.
The ChowanRiver rises in the rolling hills of the Piedmont Province
in Virginia and discharges into the western end of Albemarle Sound in
North Carolina. Tributaries in the Piedmont exhibit moderate slopes, but
the streams in the remaining portion of the basin are flat and traverse
swamp and marsh areas.
VOLUME 4 49
The Roanoke River Basin has two main tributaries, the Dan River in
North Carolina and the Roanoke River inVirginia. If flows in a generally
southeasterly direction, crossing the Virginia-North Carolina State line
18 miles below JohnH.Kerr Dam. The area under consideration encompasses
about 1,500 square miles of drainage area below John H. Kerr Dam, mostly
in Coastal Plain Province. Two major power projects, Gaston and Roanoke
Rapids Lakes, are located downstream from the dam, which is a multi-purpose
project. A navigation channel extends from Weldon, North Carolina (49
miles below John H. Kerr Dam) for 131 miles to Albermarle Sound.
Large naval operations occur around the Norfolk area. Principal
population centers areEmporia, Franklin, Petersburg, and the Southampton
Roads area, Virginia; and Elizabeth City and Roanoke Rapids, North Caro-
lina. The 1975 population for the area was 1.2 million.
The problems in this area are very much interrelated, since the
major rivers under consideration drain intoAlbemarle Sound. These rivers
are all potential sources of water to meet an increasing water supply
demand in southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina and contribute
to marine and estuarine water quality problems in Albemarle Sound. The
Roanoke River supports major commercial and sport fisheries. Interbasin
water transfers from any of the rivers would put stress on the remaining
rivers to provide flows needed for water quality and salinity balances
in Albemarle Sound.
Shortages of surface water and salt-water intrusion into ground water,
because of overpumping, have forced southeast Virginia, to look to the
Chowan and Roanoke Rivers for additional sources of water. These transfers
may deplete flows for navigation, fisheries resources, and waste assimi-
lation and cause increases in salinities in the lower Chowan and Roanoke
Rivers. Roanoke River flows are already closely controlled fromhydropower
projects to maintain striped bass and other fisheries resources and for
assimilation of wates.
One major paper mill on the Chowan River at Franklin, Virginia, is
a large user of ground water, and its pumping operations are lowering
ground-water tables. Two existing paper and pulp mills are located on
the Roanoke River below the John H. Kerr Dam and a third mill is planned.
These industries are large surface-water users, and they also need large
streamflows to assimilate their residual waste loads. Any depletion of
streamflows may damage these industries and affect an already depressed
economy. However, if the two existing paper mills and the third meet
the "Best Practicable Treatment and New Source Standards" of the Clean
Water Act, these mills would not tax the assimilative capacity of the
highly regulated Roanoke River, even with proposed transfers of water
out of the basin for municipal use. Transfer of waters from any of the
power pools of the Roanoke River would result in the loss of hydropower
50 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
The major source of ground water in southeast Virginia is the Po-
tomac Formation, which is a sand aquifer of theLate Cretaceous age. Deep
wells in this aquifer system already show high levels of chlorides in
the eastern portion of Suffolk City, which borders on the lower Chowan
River. The next water-bearing strata below the bedrock underlying the
Potomac Formation have an even higher chloride content ranging from 800-
1800 mg/liter. The chloride content of wells in some southeastern Virginia
communities already exceeds the standard of 250 mg/liter for public drinking
Water quality degradation of the streams and estuaries in the area
occurs as the result of residual domestic and industrial waste loads,
nonpoint source pollution, and large natural pollution loads from swamps
and marshlands. Eutrophication is already occurring on the lower Chowan
River and western Albemarle Sound, primarily from natural pollutants.
These problems may be further aggravated by reductions in streamflows
from diversions and increased residual point source pollution.
Natural nutrient loads from the Dismal Swamp in the Chowan River
Basin and nutrients fromboth nonpoint sources and residual point sources
are causing eutrophication problems in the lower Chowan River and western
Albemarle Sound. These are a matter of concern for both recreation
boating and the fisheries resources. High nutrient loads are transported
by the runoff from large farming operations in those counties adjoining the
south side of Albemarle Sound; these farming operations are also contrib-
uting herbicides, pesticides, and sediment loads to the Sound.
.Bacterial pollution of estuarine areas is resulting in the closing
of large areas for the harvesting of shellfish. North Carolina loses
revenue from the decline in oyster leases, and oystermen suffer financially.
Thermal pollution from steam electric generating plants, both fossil and
nuclear fueled, will affect aquatic life.
Related Land Issues
Some upstream flooding and major coastal flooding occur in this area
John H. KerrDam provides substantial flood protection on the lower Roanoke
River except during high sustained flows. Flooding damages plus damages
from erosion and sedimentation are problems that remain to be solved.
Institutional and Financial Issues
Lack of flood-plain management, conversion of wetlands to agricul-
tural use, uncontrolled development, and rapid land development in coastal
areas are current conflicts.
A water withdrawal of 40 mgd from the Roanoke Rapids Lake to meet
southeast Virginia's future water supply needs would result in a loss
VOLUME 4 51
in potential power production. This loss of energy production plus energy
needed for pumping this water would reduce the area's available electrical
energy. Reduction in required water releases may also jeopardize the
$1 million (1967 dollars) striped bass fisheries resource in the lower
The lower Roanoke and Chowan Rivers have anadromous fish runs that
may be damaged from reduced streamflows and/or water quality degradation.
Bacterial pollution has already caused the closing of 338,430 acres of
shellfish areas in the estuaries of the Chowan and Pasquotank Rivers.
From 1939 to 1966, heavy ground-water pumping at Franklin, Virginia,
resulted in lowering the artesian head by 130 feet at the center of the
cone of depression. In 1970, water levels had declined 185 feet at the
center of the cone of depression from 1939 levels and most wells no
Floods damage agricultural lands and some small communities in the
Chowan River Basin. The main stem of the lower Roanoke River is pro-
tected most of the time by the John H. Kerr Reservoir, but at times
damages occur downstream when unusually high releases are necessary. Re-
creation and beach areas are heavily damaged by coastal storms. There
are215 miles of shoreline subject to critical erosion amd 210 miles
subject to non-critical erosion in this area. Sixty-six miles of the
critically eroding area is ocean shoreline.
Potential losses in 1975 dollars to the bass fisheries resources
on the lowerRoanoke River are $996,000 annually (1967 dollars-$650,000).
The annual commercial fish catches inAlbemarle Sound and the lowerChowan
River, which are valued at $750,000 and $400,000, respectively ($489,000 and
$261,000 in 1967 dollars), are also jeopardized. Potential value of shellfish
from closed shellfish areas is $101 million annually (1967 dollars-$66
Estimated expenditures of $32 million (1967 dollars-$21 million)
would be required to correct 66 miles of critically eroding shoreline,
and an estimated $1.5 million (1967 dollars-$l million) annually would
be required to nourish the corrected beach areas. The effect of coastal
problems on the North Carolina coastal tourist industry, estimated at
$100 million annually (1967 dollars-$65 million), is not known.
Black Warrior Cahaba
This is a 10-county area located primarily in the Black Warrior
and Cahaba River Basins in north-central Alabama encompassing a total
surface area of 7,962 square miles. The area includes the Birmingham
and Tuscaloosa metropolitan areas as well as areas that will be affec-
ted by water supply withdrawals for, and waste discharges from, these
52 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
The Black Warrior River is formed by the junction of the Mulberry
and Locust Forks about 20 miles west of Birmingham and flows southwes-
terly for about 174 miles to its junction with the Tombigbee River at
Demopolis. The basin rises in the Appalachian Plateau where the topo-
graphy is rugged and elevations range from 500 to 1,000 feet above mean
sea level. The Fall Line, where the Appalacian Plateau meets the Coastal
Plain Province, crosses the basin just north of Tuscaloosa. The Coastal
Plain Province is characterized by low and gently rolling topography ranging
from 225 feet above mean sea level at Tuscaloosa to 100 feet at Demopolis.
The Cahaba River rises near the boundary of Jefferson and St. Clair
Counties and flows southwesterly to a point to Dallas County where it
empties into the Alabama River. The upper portion of the Cahaba is
characterized by swift-moving water and widely fluctuating flows. This
may be attributed to the prevalent Parkwood and Pottsville geologic forma-
tions which give rise to a rocky stream bottom with numerous shoal areas
and to many bluffs and rapids. In southern Shelby County, the river
flows through deposits of limestone and dolomite.
Principal centers of population are Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Bessemer,
Homewood, Cullman, Jasper, and Fairfield. The 1975 population of the
area was 1.1 million.
The major problem is a shortage of fresh surface-water to meet the
needs of a rapidly expanding industrial area which produces coal and
steel for national needs. Since the area is located mainly along tributary
streams, there are interrelated problems of inadequate low streamflows
for assimilating the large industrial and domestic waste loads and nonpoint
source pollution. Four dams with navigation locks provide navigation depths
on the Black Warrior River up to Birmingham. Controlled releases through
these and other hydropower dams upstream present problems since flows
need to be maintained for waste assimilation. Dewatering operations asso-
ciated with mining, proper treatment of mining wastes, and subsidence
are also issues.
Water needs for manufacturing processes and domestic water supplies
result in large withdrawals and transfers across river basin boundaries.
Consumptive uses are expected to increase greatly, aggravating further
the low flow conditions inboth the Black Warrior and Cahaba River Basins.
The instream flow needs for navigation, power production, fish, recrea-
tion, and wastes assimilation will also increase at the same time that
flows are being reduced by transfers and consumption.
The upper Cahaba River Basin presently supplies about as much drink-
ing water as it can without capture of major flood flows. Its usefulness
as a source of public water supply requires that constant efforts be
made to maintain a satisfactory quality of water in the river. In dry
seasons, the combined flow of the river and Lake Purdy's storage is used
VOLUME 4 | 63
almost exclusively for public water supply. As a result, there is very
little water in the Cahaba River for several miles downstream where it
receives the discharges from the Shades Creek and Patton Creek waste treat-
ment plants. The river's ability to assimilate these wastes is greatly
reduced during these low flow conditions.
Related Land Issues
Due to a combination of steep slopes and impervious substrata, the
Cahaba River and its tributaries have been subject to frequent flooding.
The problem is complicated by increasing development in the Birmingham
metropolitan area which increases the runoff rates. Local flooding al-
so occurs in other highly developed areas.
Institutional and Financial Issues
Protection of portions of streams in the Cahaba River Basin as wild
and scenic rivers is a major item for consideration in the planning and
management of water and related land resources. Developing and carrying
out a water resource management plan is complicated by the high costs
of facilities and the inability of local and State agencies to finance
By about the year 2000, the consumptive use of water by industries
and municipalities in and above Tuscaloosa County on the Black Warrior
River could possibly be several times the 7-day 10-year low flow. If
thermoelectric plants are located above this point, consumptive losses
would be evenhigher. Comsumptive losses would also mean losses to down-
stream hydropower, navigation, and fisheries resources.
Mining of coal and other minerals produces waste products that af-
fect the water quality of several of the area's streams. This limits
their usefulness for water supply for domestic and industrial purposes,
fisheries resources, and recreation and as natural or scenic areas.
The Goldline darter and Cahaba shiner are two fish species threat-
ened by mining activities. The Watercress darter is threatened by water
supply withdrawals. Other species of fish would be threatened by degradation
of water quality due to industrial and domestic waste discharges and
nonpoint source pollution. Land development will modify habitat and
54 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Southeast South Carolina Coast
Four coastal counties of southeastern South Carolina extend from
the mouth of the Santee River to the Savannah River included in the
problem area, encompassing 3,677 square miles. The area is within the
Coastal PlanProvince and includes manybays, estuaries, coastal streams,
and navigation systems. Charleston Harbor, Port Royal Harbor, and the
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway are in the area. Population centers are
Charleston and Beaufort. The 1975 population was 448,200.
Waste discharges in the Charleston and Beaufort areas have resulted
in bacterial pollution, making it necessary to close shellfish harvesting
areas. Large organic loads reaching coastal waters and poor mixing have
resulted in depressed oxygen levels.
Rediversion of fresh-water flows from the Cooper River and Charles-
ton Harbor to the Santee River will increase salinities in the fresh-
water zone in the Cooper River and will decrease salinities in the estu-
arine area at the mouth of the Santee River, thus affecting shellfish in
both areas. There is also the potential problem to industrial water users
of increased salinity.
Out of 249,715 acres of shellfish growing areas (mixed oysters and
clams),56,701 acres have been closed because of present pollution condi-
tions. If this problem is not solved, even more shellfish areas may be
affected. Approximately 3.2 percent (1,410acres) of the closed shellfish
growing areas are producing a commercially harvestable crop.
The increased flows, following Cooper River re-diversion, could change
the salinity regimes at the mouth of the Santee River which affect shellfish.
An estimated ten thousand bushels of oysters are transplanted from this
area each year. It is estimated that two-thirds of these resources
would be lost from re-diversion. The Wando River estuary, one of the
most productive oyster seed beds on the Atlantic Coast, will be adversely
affected by re-diversion, as will the shellfish areas in the SanteeDelta.
Charleston Harbor receives large pollution loads, and re-diversion
may adversely affect assimilative capabilities. Reduced flows will re-
sult in wastes being assimilated in the inner harbor areas, whereas under
present conditions, this occurs farther out in the harbor where greater
volumes of water are available.
VOLUME 4 56
Additional effects of pollution include stress on marine life popula-
tions with a lowering of numbers of more desirable species. Recreation-
al restrictions are a probable result. Discharge limitations because of
an already impaired water quality will restrict future development because
of higher wastes treatment requirements.
Actualmonetary losses from the closing of shellfish harvesting areas
is $490,000 annually.
The east coast of Florida from the Florida-Georgia line to the Florida
Keys, a distance of more than 500 miles, consists of a series of sandy
barrier islands, broken here and there by inlets. The barrier islands,
which are generally backed by low tidal marshes or lagoons, separate
the mainland from the Atlantic Ocean. They vary considerably in length,
width, elevation, and development. The ocean beaches range inform from
wide and flat beaches to narrow, steep strips fronting seawalls, and in
texture from the hard, fine sand at some locations to the soft sands and
coquina outcrops of northern Florida.
The entire west coast of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico from Key
West to Apalachee Bay south of Tallahassee is characteristically man-
grove swamp or marsh, with sandy beaches occurring in places. Approxi-
mately 45 percent of this gulf shore, from the southern tip of Florida
to the Pinellas-Pasco County line, is composed of offshore barrier is-
lands which extend almost continuously for 150 miles. The beaches in
this lower region, where they exist, are composed of fine white sand
and contain a considerable amount of shell. The remaining 180 miles
from the Pinellas-Pasco County line northward to Apalachee Bay is almost
devoid of barrier beaches and is not included in this area.
The Florida coast west of Apalachee Bay is characterized by wide
sandy beaches backed by dune lines with heights ranging from 10 to 15
feet. Most of the beach material along this reach is white sand com-
posed primarily of quartz.
The length of shoreline covered in this area is 5,984 miles of which
1,066 miles is ocean/gulf shoreline and 4,918 miles isbay/estuary shore-
line. A total of 1,353 miles is beach, of which 781 miles front on the
ocean or gulf and 572 miles front on bay and estuaries. There are no
beaches on the remaining 4,631 miles of shoreline. Surface area of
the coastal counties is 26,146 square miles. The 1975 population was
Future projections indicate that the coastal areas will continue
to grow and develop ata very rapid rate. Extensive residential develop-
ment for both summer and year-round use is anticipated. Continued in-
tensive development for tourism and industry is also expected, with com-
mensurate population increases.
56 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Related Land Issues
The shoreline is continually adjusting to the change in forces af-
fecting it. The entrapment of sand in river reservoirs; offshore dump-
ing of channel and harbor dredge material; opening, closing, and migra-
tion of coastal inlets; the relative rise of sea level; and the expan-
sion of development along the shoreline are some of the factors contri-
buting to an apparent increase in shoreline erosion. One of the more
easily identified causes of serious coastal erosion is that caused by
the wind and wave action of coastal storms.
The extensive population growth inFlorida has put an unusually high
demand on use of beaches for recreation. Since both coastal storms
and unusually high tides often destroy these beaches by erosion or breaching
of low areas, restoration and protective programs are needed.
Of the 5,984.4miles of shoreline in this area, 209.8 miles of ocean/
gulf shoreline and 82.3 miles of bay/estuary shoreline are experiencing
critical erosion problems. Another 332.8 miles of ocean/ gulf and 357.0
miles of bay/estuary shoreline are experiencing noncritical erosion. No
erosion is occurring on the remaining 5,002.5 miles of shoreline.
Annual losses because of beach erosion of Florida's coastline are
estimated at $66 million annually (1967 dollars-$43 million). These are
the estimated benefits that would be derived from correcting critical
erosion on 292 miles of shoreline.
Coosa in Georgia
This 13-county problem area lies in northwest Georgia and encom-
passes 4,478 square miles. Principal drainage is provided by the Coosa
River system. This river system rises in the Blue Ridge Province and
flows southwesterly through the Piedmont, Valley, and Ridge Provinces to
the Georgia-Alabama State line. Three large lakes, two national forests,
and several State parks provide recreational opportunities. Principal
population centers include Rome and part of the Atlanta, Georgia SMSA.
The 1975 population was 379,300.
Industrial and municipal residual wastes, sediment, and nonpoint
source pollution are degrading sections of the Tallapoosa, Conasauga,
VOLUME 4 | 57
Oostanaula, and Coosa Rivers in Georgia. Sediment loads contributed
by sand and gravel operations and land erosion affect the color and turbidity
of the water. Agricultural and urban runoff contribute nutrients, pes-
ticides, herbicides, and bacterial pollution. Low level releases from
stratified hydropower projects in late summer have low dissolved oxygen.
Also, minimum releases made during no power generating periods are not
sufficient to maintain needed assimilative capacities of streams where
large waste discharges are made.
Stretches of stream receiving large waste discharges are seriously
polluted, and oxygen levels are being decreased to marginally acceptable
levels for fish life. Fecal coliforms are so high that the waters are
unusable for water contact sports, and stream biota are being damaged.
Dissolved oxygen standards are occasionally violated in reservoir releases
from Lake Allatoona and below Dalton on the Conasauga River. The Coosa
River shows evidence of nutrients and organic materials in the headwaters
of Lake Weiss.
Three coastal counties of Mississippi from the Alabama-Mississippi
State line to the Mississippi-Louisiana State line, encompassing 1,803
square miles of surface area, make up this problem area. The Escatawpa,
Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Pearl Rivers, along with several small streams,
flow through this area. The Pascagoula area is highly industrialized
and has a commerical port. Located along the remaining coast is the
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Port of Gulfport, and a number of recreational
beaches. Population centers are Pascagoula, Moss Point, Biloxi, Gulf-
port, and Picayune. The 1975 population was 285,100.
The industrialized areas at Pascagoula and Moss Point contribute
large waste loads in the form of residual wastes, urban runoff, and agri-
cultural runoff to the Pascagoula and Escatawpa estuaries. The Escatawpa
River in its lower reaches has a 7-day, 10-year low flow of 130-150
cfs. With the low flows and tidal action, the large waste loads are
not flushed from the estuary so as to prevent deterioration of estuarine
water quality. Water quality is degraded to the point that productive
shellfish areas must be closed to harvesting. Conditions would not readily
58 1 SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
improve, and the economic losses would continue to occur over the next
few years even if pollution were eliminated now. Beach areas are threatened
by bacteriological pollution fron nonpoint sources and possibly some iso-
lated discharges of raw sewage.
Water quality in the lower 10 miles of the Escatawpa River and the
lower Pascagoula River in the vicinity of Pascagoula is degraded. Water
quality requirements may become the limiting factor for growth of the
The 69.8 miles of mainland beach are vulnerable to bacteriological
pollution. Wastes from untreated and nonpoint sources discharged into
the Gulf of Mexico along this beach section are degrading water quality
in some areas enough to make it unfit for water contact sports.
Shellfish reefs have been closed to harvesting of shellfish on 1,050
acres of the estimated 2,050 acres in Mississippi, resulting in an esti-
mated annual loss of $2.5 million (1967 dollars-$1.6 million).
This eight-county area in central Mississippi encompasses 5,393 square
miles of surface area. Major water resources are the Pearl River and
Ross Barnett Reservoir. The entire area lies in the upper coastal plain.
Jackson, the State capital, is the principal population center. The 1975
population was 410,200.
The Ross Barnett Reservoir above Jackson is a large, State-construc-
ted recreational lake and water supply storage for Jackson. Large areas
of the lake are extremely shallow, and nutrients from upstreamhave caused
large areas of aquatic weed growth. Chemical control of these weeds
is questionable since it might affect the quality for Jackson's water
Residual municipal and industrial wastes, urban runoff, nonurban
runoff, septic tank seepage, and low streamflows combine to cause poor
water quality conditions below Jackson. Low streamflows are not adequate
to assimilate the treated wastes and nonpoint source pollution.
VOLUME 4 | 9
At extreme low flow, the stream below Jackson has dissolved oxygen
levels of 4.0 mg/liter, the minimum allowed. A total of 35 miles of
the Pearl River has dissolved oxygen levels below 7.0 mg/liter.
A large portion of Pelahatchie Bay and approximately 8,000 acres of
the main portion of Ross Barnett Reservoir are coveredwith aquatic weeds
that prevent any type of recreational use of the reservoir in the area
affected. Weed problems are expected to increase. The average depth
of the reservoir is about 10 feet, but it is filling with sediment.
Central North Carolina Coast
The five-county problem area of 3,012 square miles includes those
coastal counties between the Roanoke River Basin and the Cape Fear-New
River Basins, all within the State of North Carolina. The area is en-
tirely within the Coastal Plain Province and, more specifically, is in
the lower coastal plain. All of the counties are included under the
North Carolina Coastal Zone Management Act.
The ocean shoreline of North Carolina consists of an emergent ridge
of barrier islands separated from the mainland by shallow sounds. Salt
marshes lie to the mainland side of these islands, which are very narrow
ridges composed of recent marine deposits of sand and shell. The average
elevation of the islands ranges between 6 and 10 feet above mean sea
level; however, dune systems reach considerably greater heights (as much
as 100 feet above mean sea level). Along most of the islands, however,
dune elevations average between 10 and 30 feet above mean sea level.
The 100 miles of ocean shoreline in this area have a sandy beach. Of
the remaining 1,766 miles of shoreline, 403 miles normally have a beach
zone and 1,363 miles do not.
The mainland shoreline of North Carolina is classified as a sub-
merged coastline, meaning that the sea has risen relative to the land-
mass in the geologic past. Beaches exist along the bay and estuarine
shoreline where there is a high sand content eroded from banks. These
beaches are normally very flat and narrow.
The Outer Banks, which lie at places 20 to 30 miles from the main-
land, form expansive sounds along the North Carolina coast. Associated
with these sounds are large saline bays and both fresh-water and saline
tidal rivers. All of these places have recreation potential and also
serve as nursery areas for many types of marine fisheries.
Population centers are Wilmington, Morehead City, New Bern, Wash-
ington, and Elizabeth City. The 1975 population was 152,800.
00 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
High nutrient loads occur in the runoff from large farming operations
in counties adjoining Pamlico Sound. These farming operations are also
contributing herbicides, pesticides, and sediment loads to the sounds.
Fresh-water diversions are altering salinity levels.
The lower portions of the Tar and Neuse Rivers are anadromous fish
runs. These fisheries resources are sensitive to low dissolved oxygen,
chemicals, and organic discharges. Low-level releases from stratified
reservoirs, which are low in oxygen, will have a detrimental effect on
Bacterial pollution of estuarine areas is closing large areas to
the harvesting of shellfish. The State loses revenue from oyster leases,
and oystermen suffer financially.
Organic matter, which originates in swampy areas drained by a num-
ber of the streams flowing into the estuarine areas, increases color
and reduces available oxygen and pH. Further development of beach areas
for recreation and increased industrial development along the harbor and
navigation channels may increase pollution loads that, without adequate
treatment, will degrade marine and estuarine water quality.
Large ground-water pumpage for dry open-pit mining of phosphate
has lowered the potentiometric surface for a considerable distance from
the center of pumping. Waterhas been pumped at rates of 43-71 mgd since
1965, increasing with the rise in phosphate production.
Phosphate mining operations are expected to expand, possibly more
than doubling ground-water withdrawals. Possible salt-water intrusion
would be a threat to other ground-water uses in the area.
Related Land Issues
Tropical hurricanes occasionally move up the East Coast, producing
heavy rains and tidal flooding of beaches and low inland areas and damaging
the barrier islands and beaches. Other storms, particularly northeasters
with prolonged strong winds, create "wind tides" which flood low areas
and cause extensive shore erosion. Recreation areas, roads, farmlands,
and historical sites are damaged by this erosion and flooding. Flood
waters from this coastal flooding and from upstream flooding interfere
with water uses and damage water treatment facilities.
Institutional and Financial Issues
Financing of waste treatment facilities to meet 1983 goals will be
an economic burden to local communities. These goals may not be met.
VOLUME 4 61
Monetary losses associated with the closing of 89,265 acres of shellfish
growing areas have been estimated at $17,500,000 annually in 1967 dollars.
Many stream segments and coastal areas have been proposed for in-
clusion in the scenic, wild, and recreational rivers program of North
Carolina. A 50-mile stretch of the Neuse River has been proposed as a
recreational river. Protection of these streams for these designated
purposes will require water resource management, including water quali-
Flooding and wave action along the 1,866 miles of shoreline are
causing critical erosion problems along 57 miles of ocean shoreline and
180 miles of bay/estuary shoreline and noncritical erosion on 6 miles
of ocean shoreline and 243 miles of bay/estuary shoreline.
Shorelines may retreat as much as 140 feet during a hurricane. The
high risk in developing these areas threatens the full realization of
the economic benefits from the tourist industry. Damages to fishing
vessels and channels make it expensive to operate in these areas. High
wave action threatens national monuments and causes navigation channels
in inlets to shift.
Ground-water pumping has resulted in the lowering of the potentio-
metric surface over an area of more than 800 square miles. Artesian
pressure has been lowered more than 5 feet in an area of more than
1,400 square miles and substantially for a distance of 40 miles from the
center of pumping, including large areas inWashington and Hyde Counties.
An estimated 30 to 40 percent of the annual $100 million (1967 dollars-
$65 million) North Carolina coastal tourist industry is centered in this
area. It is jeopardized by these coastal problems. An estimated first
cost of $57 million (1967 dollars-$37 million) and an annual nourishment
cost of $0.8 million (1967 dollars-$5 million) would be needed to correct
180 miles of eroding shoreline.
Southeast South Carolina Coast, Georgia Coastal Plain, and Northern Florida
The problem area encompasses three rather specific sections in the
Coastal Plain Province of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida
with a total area of 18,121 square miles. Severe problems are concen-
trated at Savannah, Brunswick, the Suwannee River Basin, and southwest
Georgia. The effects of heavy ground-water pumping in Georgia extend
into southeast South Carolina and northern Florida. Total 1975 popula-
tion for the area was 1.5 million.
Included in the Savannah vicinity are two counties located in south-
eastern South Carolina and three counties in Georgia. These coastal counties
62 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
are influenced by heavy ground-water pumping on the lower Savannah River
in Chatham County, Georgia. Population centers are Beaufort, South Caro-
lina, and Savannah, Georgia.
A second portion, the Brunswick area, includes four coastal counties
located in southeast Georgia and five counties located in northeast Florida.
These counties are in the Coastal Plain Province where there is an abundance
of ground water in two known aquifers, one shallow and one deep. Most
of these counties have heavy water-using industries. Population centers
are Brunswick and St. Marys, Georgia, and Jacksonville and Fernandina
The third portion, the 21-county Suwannee River Basin area, lies in
south-central Georgia and northwest peninsular Florida. Major surface-
water resources are the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Aucilla, Santa
Fe, and Suwannee Rivers. Principal population centers are Valdosta, Geor-
gia, and Lake City and Gainesville, Florida.
The geologic formations in the coastal areas are sand and some clay
and silt. In the Suwannee Basin the formation is limestone, sand, clay,
marl, and some dolomite. The principal artesian aquifer in the Georgia
portion of this area and the Florida Aquifer in the Florida portion of
the area supply large quantities of water. The aquifer system contains
many minerals and is somewhat hard. Part of the Floridan Aquifer's re-
charge area is in Georgia and thus is influenced by withdrawals there.
Heavy ground-water withdrawals in the Savannah area are creating a
cone of depression that extends into southeastern South Carolina. This
lowering of the ground water piezometric level results in higher pump-
ing costs and, if carried to the extreme, could deplete ground water so
as to make it uneconomical to pump for certain uses. A cone of depres-
sion with a piezometric surface lowered below mean sea level is induc-
ing salt-water intrusion that contaminates the fresh-water aquifer. Surface
sources are available and are used, but these are some distance from
the coastal areas.
In the Brunswick and northeast Florida areas, surface-water sources
are generally available, but ground-water sources are abundant and require
little treatment for industrial and municipal use. Heavy water-using
industries have located in the area because of the availability of raw
materials, the ease of transportation, and the abundance of water. These
water users are pumping large quantities of ground water. In Brunswick,
large ground-water withdrawals have resulted in brackish water encroach-
ment. Similar potential problems exist in St. Marys, Fernandina Beach,
and Jacksonville to the south.
Ground-water tables the coastal area are high, and during rainy
weather septic tank tile fields may intersect them, thereby contamina-
VOLUME 4 63
ting the ground water. The aquifer near the surface consists of sand
and gravel and is used by individuals as a water supply source. Indus-
try may also use this source.
The source of ground water in the Suwannee River Basin is a sand
and limestone formation. Yields from the aquifer are high, often reach-
ing several thousand gallons per minute. Limestone sinks and solution
cavities occur in the area. Subsidence may occur when ground-water levels
fluctuate. The sinkholes andunderground streams are a means of transport
of low quality surface waters to the ground-water supply.
Ground water in the Suwannee River Basin is plentiful and is exten-
sively used by municipalities, industry, and agriculture. In the Georgia
portion of the basin, extensive irrigation of high-value crops is occurring
and is projected to increase significantly. Livestock watering from ground
water occurs. Possible upward migration of the underlying brackish water
which contains high sulfates threatens groundwater quality in a large
area of Georgia. Use of ground water occurs in the phosphate mining
process in Florida. This use, plus a potential transfer of ground water
out of the area to serve water short areas, threatens the quality of
the remaining waters for downstream users.
Independent pumping operations in a relatively small area in Savannah
and at HiltonHead, South Carolina, have caused a reversal of the natural
hydraulic gradients inthe vicinity of pumping. Heavy ground-water with-
drawals which lower ground-water levels increase the costs of pumping
to these users. Should the pumping rates increase and exceed recharge
capabilities, salt-water intrusion maybe accelerated and make this source
of water unsuitable for use.
Under present rates of pumping, ground-water quality is threatened
by increases in chlorides in the Savannah-HiltonHead area, and salt-water
intrusion is beginning to occur in the Brunswick area. Ground-water
withdrawals are expected to double between 1970 and the year 2000 and
will greatly accelerate salt-water intrusion. Contamination of the ground
water beyond the 250 mg/liter of chlorides limit will prohibit its use
as a domestic supply. Quality of water and high development costs make
it almost prohibitive to use surface sources for domestic water supplies.
High chlorides may also reduce ground-water usefulness for many industries
within a large area of Brunswick. The combined influence of these heavy
withdrawals could be catastrophic, affecting large areas of the coast
from South Carolina to Florida.
Large ground-water withdrawals in the Suwannee River Basin may lower
the water table and cause sinkholes, which will allow surface contamina-
tion to enter the ground water. This could result in contamination of
groundwater to the extent that it could not be used as a domestic source,
which would necessitate the use of more costly surface sources or a restric-
tion on growth of the area. Reduction in the use of water for irrigation
and industrial purposes may also result.
64 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
This 16-county area in northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama
in the Coastal Plain Province is the problem area, and it encompasses
9,921 square miles. Major water resources are the Sipsey, Noxubee, and
Tombigbee Rivers, and the proposed Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Major
land resource areas represented are the southern coastal plains and the
Alabama and Mississippi Blackland Prairies.
Principal population centers are Columbus, Starkville, Tupelo, Amory,
Aberdeen, and West Point, Mississippi; and Aliceville and Eutaw, Alabama.
The 1975 population was 377,200.
The limestone and sand aquifers of the early Tertiary Period are an
important source of ground water in this area. However, there is a low-
production area from west-central Alabama into east-central Mississippi.
Saline content is high in some areas.
Heavy pumping of ground water by municipalities and industry has resul-
ted in a lowering of the ground-water table. There are quantities of iron,
fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, and hardness present in ground-water sources
in the area. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway may in the future lower
ground-water levels near the channel. Dry weather streamflows in the Missi-
ssippi portion of the area are extremely low. Ground-water sources become
more attractive because of limited yields from natural streamflows, lack
of storage reservoirs for surface waters on tributary streams, and the
higher cost of development and treatment of surface waters.
Related Land Issues
Other severe problems for which solutions have already been recom-
mended include adequate navigation depths for the Tennessee-Tombigbee
Waterway, flooding, and erosion and sedimentation. These solutions should
be considered in this study along with environmental considerations in
order to develop a total water resources management program for the area.
Available ground-water sources will determine the limits of growth
of the area unless surface-water sources can be developed. Since stream-
flows are low, impoundments will become necessary to obtain dependable
yields for any substantial growth. Water costs will rise as the demand
VOLUME 4 66
for the limited supply of water increases. These costs could then deter-
mine the growth of the area and become the limiting factor of economic
If per capital income and economic growth is constrained after 1995
because of water problems, economic losses could reach $510 million annu-
ally (1967 dollars-$333 million) by the year 2000.
Mobile Lower Tombigbee
The problem area is in six counties in southwest Alabama, which en-
compass 7,005 square miles. Major water resources are the Tombigbee,
Tensaw, Escatawpa, Styx, and Mobile Rivers; Mobile Harbor; and the Gulf
Intracoastal Waterway. Principal drainage is provided by the Mobile
River which drains 64 percent of the land area of the State of Alabama
as well as portions of Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
The Mobile Harbor navigation project provides access to the Gulf of
Mexico and worldwide deep water ports. Upon completion of the Tennessee-
Tombigbee Waterway, Mobile Harbor will have navigational access to the
interior of the Nation.
Principal population centers include Demopolis, Jackson, BayMinette,
Fairhope, and Mobile. The 1975 population of the area was 483,900.
By 1985, Mobile's water demands will exceed its existing source on
Big Creek, which is on a tributary of the Escatawpa River. Mobile is
seeking to divert some water from the Escatawpa River Basin to meet
future needs, but this interstate-interbasin transfer may interfere with
uses in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The 7-day low flow with a 10-year recurrence frequency in Mobile
River is 8,000 cfs. There is a problem in using this water because
it has a saline concentration under normal conditions of 1,000 mg/liter
20 miles above Mobile. Industries now using municipal water could possi-
bly switch to the Mobile River source, but they, too, would be faced
with a possible water quality problem as well as the need to build faci-
lities to use saline water.
Salt-water encroachment in ground water occurred at Mobile during
the 1940's. In the area west of Demopolis (Marengo County) highly mineral-
ized water has risen along faults and has intruded into a heavily used
fresh-water aquifer. This area is associated with a northwest trend-
66 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
ing belt of little or no potable water across west-central Alabama and
extending a short distance into Mississippi.
Ground-water management is needed in order to provide for proper con-
trols of pumping and water use.
Waste discharges into surface waters degrade water quality and possi-
bly damage marine life. This damage, plus nonpoint source pollution and
low streamflows in tributary streams, makes it doubtful that some streams
will meet future water quality objectives.
Related Land Issues
Flood flows in rivers and tital flows along coastal areas cause
erosion of streambanks and beaches. Gully, sheet, and rill erosion is
a problem in Clarke County from the standpoint of land voided or destroy-
ed as a resource, sediment produced, and cost of treating the problem.
Sediment loads carried from upstream into this area present many
problems as sediments drop out in the estuarine areas. Sediments blanket
the bottom organisms used for fish foods, fill in bay areas, and accumu-
late in navigation channels where they interfere with commercial shipping
and boating recreation. Periodic dredging is necessary, but is diffi-
cult to find spoil disposal areas for the dredged materials.
Tropical storms moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico produce high
winds and wave action which damage beaches and shorelines in Mobile and
Baldwin Counties. Recreational areas are destroyed and structures near
the beaches are damaged.
Institutional and Financial Issues
Competition for land has resulted in the dredging and filling of low
areas to develop suitable industrial lands near navigation facilities.
The lack of control of these operations results in conflict of land uses
and destruction of wetlands which are valuable for fish and wildlife
habitat. Lack of control over development in low areas and flood plains
increases the damages that might be sustained from flooding.
If water cannot be developed at a reasonable cost and within a reasona-
ble distance of Mobile, the area's growth will be limited to about that
projected for the year 1985. Development of the Mobile River as a water
source would provide sufficient quantities for most reasonable growth
levels, but the cost of such an undertaking would become a limiting
VOLUME 4 67
factor. Treatment costs would probably be prohibitive for nearby river
waters, and transmission costs would be prohibitive for distant waters.
Lack of suitable quality ground-waters may also contribute to the limi-
tation of growth in this area. At present, ground water furnishes about
4 percent of the total water withdrawn. Its use cannot be greatly expand-
ed because salt-water contamination is already occurring.
Sedimentation in navigation channels necessitates periodic dredging
to remove solids and to maintain navigation depths. Sediments carried by
the Mobile River system and by currents eroding the shorelines are gradual-
ly filling Mobile Bay. Removal of sediments from Mobile Harbor has cost
almost double the original construction costs.
Beach erosion destroys recreational areas and endangers structures
along the beach. Approximately 56 percent of the shoreline of coastal
Alabama is eroding.
The authorized Theodore Industrial Channeland main channel improve-
ments intheMobile Bay area will require an initial dredging of 163 mil-
lion cubic yards of material. The present plan is to place 66 million
cubic yards of this material in Mobile Bay to cover about 3,000 to 4,000
acres of bay bottom.
Loss or reduction of recreation areas together with the inability
of local and public interests to meet future demands will deny some local
residents recreation opportunities and will result in a loss of tourism
revenue. Sediment removal and maintenance of Mobile Harbor has cost
about double the original construction cost.
Streambank erosion damages are $63,773 annually (1967 dollars-$41,000).
The problem area encompasses 9,854 square miles and 16 counties in
southeast Mississippi. Major water resources are the Pascagoula, Esca-
tawpa, Chickasawhay, Leaf, and Biloxi Rivers; Okatibbe Lake; Gulfport,
Biloxi, and Pascagoula Harbors; and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Major
land resource areas represented are the southern coastal plains and the
Alabama and Mississippi Blackland Prairies.
The Miocene-Pliocene sand aquifers along the Gulf Coast in Missi-
ssippi yield large quantities of water. Practically all domestic and
municipal water supplies and most industrial supplies are obtained from
the ground water reservoir. Fresh water extends to a depth of 1,250
feet at Pascagoula and to more than 3,000 feet at the mouth of the Pearl
River to the west of the study area.
68 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
Principal population centers include Meridian, Laurel, Hattiesburg,
Pascagoula, Moss Point, Biloxi, and Gulfport. The 1975 population for
the area was 624,600.
Surface-water flows during low flow periods in the vicinity of Laurel
and Hattiesburg do not have sufficient dependable yields for water supply
and for the assimilation of residual and nonpoint source pollution. Minimum
7-day 10-year runoffs for tributary streams in the area are as little
as .05 cfs per square mile. Generally, ground waters are sufficient
for water supply, but inadequate spacing and overpumping jeopardize these
sources. InJackson County and other coastal counties, there is competition
for surface waters for municipal, industrial, and cooling water needs.
Although ground water is plentiful, there are areas of Mississippi
in which this abundant supply is degraded in quality. In the Miocene-
Pliocene sands along theGulf Coast there are areas of high iron content,
low pH, and corrosive water. There are unknowns associated with deep-
well injection of liquid wastes in some areas of the State. Of particu-
lar concern is the injection of oil brines used in extraction of oil
from the ground.
Related Land Issues
Subsidence may occur in coastal areas that overlie unconsolidated
sand aquifers, should ground-water withdrawals be greatly increased in
A study on flooding and some other problems in the Pascagoula River
Basin needs to be updated. In addition, the problems enumerated above
need to be studied, and related environmental considerations need to be
Institutional and Financial Issues
The lack of an interstate compact between Alabama and Mississippi
complicates the solution of the Pascagoula and Mobile water supply pro-
blems. The Gulf coastal areas are becoming more industrialized, and
population growth is requiring more land for residential and recreational
facilities. Competition for land and lack of land use controls have
resulted in the destruction of wetlands and the draining of marginal
lands with the consequent loss of valuable fish and wildlife habitat.
Floor plains have been used unwisely, resulting in higher flood damages
and aggravation of flooding problems.
VOLUME 4 I 89
State laws protecting wild and scenic rivers and natural areas and
establishing land use controls are lacking.
Dry weather streamflows may be the limiting factor of industrial
development in the upper portion of this area unless impoundments are
constructed, because natural steamflows cannot assimilate waste lands.
In the coastal area there is considerable competition for water for
municipal and industrial growth, recreation, irrigation, cooling, and
navigation. Without proper water resource management, one or more of
these needs may not be met as a result of water being allocated to other
Ground-water quality degradation along the coast has resulted in
the need for long range pans to obtain future water from surface-water
sources. Naturalpollutants, oil brines, and possibly other liquid wastes
may cause sufficient degradation of ground-water quality to make it unusable
for municipal water supplies.
Development is continuing in flood plains, resulting in more damaging
floods and larger losses to agricultural and urban areas. Development
along unprotected coastal and beach areas has led to tremendous damages
Lack of land-use control is jeopardizing the habitat of the sand-
hill crane in the Pascagoula area.
If water problems constrain per capital income and economic growth
of the area after 1985, economic losses could be $3.4 billion annually
in the year 2000 (1967 dollars-$2.2 billion).
Yearly flood damages are not available, but Hurricane Camille in
August 1969 caused over $92 million in coastal damages and $311 million
in inland damages in the three Mississippi coastal counties.
VOLUME 4 71
The South Atlantic-Gulf Water Resources Region has ample surface
waters and ground water to provide for an expanding economy. Except
for peninsular Florida, the climate is characterized by well distributed
rainfall, mild winters, and warm-to-hot humid summers. The average yearly
rainfall of 50 inches compares favorably with the national average of
30 inches per year. Peninsular Florida has a period of low rainfall
from December through May and streamflows reach a critical low at the
end of this period.
The region is becoming more urbanized, and the once agrarian area
is moving toward a more diversified economy. Industry is growing rapid-
ly and is using more of the region's natural and human resources. Water
is an important resource for this expanding industrial growth. There is
an abundance of navigable waters along the coast and on a number of
major streams to serve industry.
The abundance of forested lands provides a resource that is being
heavily exploited. As a result there are large water demands by the
paper and pulp industry which uses timber resources. Forested lands ac-
count for over 60 percent of the total regional area. Croplands cover
15 percent of the region but only about two-thirds of the croplands are
harvested. Only 8 percent of this land is presently irrigated, but
irrigation of croplands is projected to expand by almost 50 percent by
the year 2000.
The region is dependent upon steam electric power for a large portion
of its electrical energy. Use of water for steam electric power production
presently accounts for over 50 percent of the average daily water with-
drawals--by far the greatest single purpose withdrawal. Irrigation utilizes
14 percent and manufacturing accounts for 17 percent of the average daily
withdrawals. Water withdrawals for steam electric are projected to increase
only 9 percent by 2000 while steam electric power production will increase
almost 700 percent. Withdrawals for manufacturing, irrigation, and other
uses also are projected to change.
The 24 major river basins and the many minor coastal river sys-
tems provide resources for recreation, power production, manufacturing,
municipal growth, navigation, and fisheries. There is an abundance of
generally good quality ground water that can be developed below the Fall
Line in the Coastal Plain Province.
Major problems with the region's water and related land resources
occur as the result of growth and related water demands in areas where
water is limited. The growth in stream headwater areas places a great
deal of stress on the limited water resources where the contributing
drainage area is small. Also, most of these streams originate in the
mountain or Piedmont areas where ground water sources are very limited.
72 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
In the Coastal Plain Province, below the Fall Line, there is generally
an abundance of ground water. Problems occur when this source is heavily
pumped in concentrated areas near the coasts and salt-water intrusion
becomes a threat.
In addition to water quantity problems, there is the problem of
excessive pollutants reaching the streams and coastal waters, and in
some areas threatening ground-water resources. Nonpoint source pollu-
tion and eutrophication of surface waters are two major issues that may
not be resolved by present areawide water quality management planning
programs. Water quality planning for nonpoint source pollutionhas been
promoted by the statutory authorization for cost-sharing provided by the
Clean Water Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-217).
Lack of flood-plain controls along with the need for structures to
control flooding are problems in many areas of the region. Protection
from erosion and water quality degradation of the beach areas and associated
waters in this region is of major concern. Restoration of degraded
beaches has proven valuable in a number of the areas along the Atlantic
and Gulf Coasts. Dredging and filling of wetlands have been major issues
in the past but with proper controls and management, it should be possible
to reduce the issues to a minor or negligible status in most areas of
Administrative problems occur as the result of inadequate control,
legislation, and/or resources to carry out resource management programs.
There are a number of management problems on interstate streams regard-
ing interbasin and interstate transfers of water. No interstate agree-
ments exist for resolving these problems. Financing of water supply
source development is a major financial burden for many small communi-
ties, and generally there is no financial assistance available to assist
There are a number of environmentally sensitive areas in the region,
and the lack of an environmental plan to State and Federal levels causes
difficulties when project developments are planned for such areas. There
is a need for more specific environmental goals and a plan for attaining
VOLUME 4 73
Conclusions and Recommendations
The ultimate goal of this analysis is the resolution of the severe
problems that have been identified. This can be accomplished by Federal,
State, and local government agencies in partnership. Appropriate multi-
objective planning studies, relevant data collection and timely research,
necessary changes in laws and institutions, appropriate financing, and
fully staffed resource development and management programs are required
for the partnership to do the job. Nongovernmental interests should
be given a role in comprehensive planning and in implementation of such
The Federal Government has a responsibility to assist in the resolu-
tion of problems involving interstate commerce, problems having regional
or national implications, and to assist research for general applica-
tions. Such assistance in the SAG has been provided by Federal agencies
that have water and land resources management responsibilities under Consti-
tutional and Federal laws. Assistance of this kind should be accelerated
and increased in the future.
It is recommended that Federal agencies continue to provide techni-
cal and financial assistance needed by State and local agencies in re-
solving those problems for which the Federal Government has responsibility.
This would include such programs as construction of major navigation sys-
tems, gathering of streamflow another hydrologic data, researchon tech-
nology for advanced waste treatment, cooperative river basin studies,
and continued PublicLaw 566 and other water resource development assis-
tance. Financial assistance as provided by Federal legislation should
continue for such programs as areawide planning for waste-water treatment
and construction of water based recreational facilities. Funding should
be provided for legislated programs that have either not been funded
or have received inadequate funding, such as Section 209 or Public Law
92-500, Title 3 or Public Law 89-80, Section 701 of Public Law 83-560
as amended by Public Law 90-448, and the National Dam Safety Act, Public
It is recommended that an evaluation be made of the Federal Govern-
ment's role in the planning, design, construction, and operation of water
sources tobeused forpublic water supplies. Limited financial assistance
is presently available through the Water Supply Act of 1958, USDA programs,
and HUD programs. An evaluation should be made to determine whether
the Federal Government's financial participation in water source develop-
ment for public supplies should be increased.
It is recommended that communities within the region that have not
already done so, give consideration to establishing flood-plain ordinances
and enrolling in the National Flood Insurance Program. Federal agencies
should continue to assist localities in the data collection necessary
to delineate flood plains and describe the extent of flooding problems,
74 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
and to provide the expertise in planning and implementing structural and
nonstructural programs relating to flood control, such as those of the
Corps of Engineers and the Soil Conservation Service.
Level "B" Planning Studies 1
Utilizing criteria from the Water Resources Council's "Proposed Guide-
lines for Regional or River Basin (Level "B") Planning" and additional
criteria developed in the SAG and discussed with Group "A" representatives,
five geographic areas have been identified as potential Level "B" study
areas (theYadkin-PeeDee, this region's number one priority, has recently
been funded for a Level "B" study). The areas recommended for study
are arranged in priority order as follows:
1. Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (A-C-F). This 64-county
area is Water Resource subarea 313 plus seven additional
counties intheAtlanta SMSA. The area is located in north
andwestern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and along the
eastern edge of the Florida panhandle. It is characterized
by the problems of surface- and ground-water quantity and
quality, inadequate depths for navigation, flooding, ero-
sion/ sedimentation, environmental conflicts, and water-
related land use conflicts.
2. Cape Fear-North-central North Carolina. This proposed 24-
county study area is located in north-central and south-
eastern North Carolina. The Cape Fear-North-central North
Carolina proposed study areahas overlapping counties with
the Yadkin-PeeDee study area. This overlap is due to the
interrelationships of the water quantity-water quality pro-
blems and existing and potential interbasin transfers. It
is characterized by problems of surface-water quantity and
quality, marine and estuarine water quality, flooding,
drainage, erosion and sedimentation, and water-related land
3. Catawba-Broad-Saluda. This proposed 29-county study area
is located inwest-central North Carolina and central South
Carolina aboveLakeMarion. It is characterized by problems
of surface- and ground-water quantity andquality, erosion
and sedimentation, and water-related land use conflicts.
4. Chowan-Lower Roanoke-Pasquotank. This proposed 24-county
study area is an expansion of an earlier proposal to WRC by
SEBIAC for Level "B" study for the Chowan River Basin. It
A Level "B" study is a preliminary or reconnaissance level water and
related land study for a selected areawhere problems are interdisciplinary
and of such complexity that an intermediate planning step is needed between
framework and implementation level studies.
VOLUME 4 I 75
is now located in southeast Virginia and northeast North
Carolina and includes the ChowanRiver Basin, the southeast
Virginia area, the lower Roanoke River Basin from the John H.
Kerr Dam to the river's mouth, and the Pasquotank River
Basin. It is characterized by problems of surface- and
ground-water quantity, marine and estuarine water quality,
flooding, andwater-related land use conflicts. A problem
exists regarding interbasin water transfers to southeast
5. Black Warrior-Cahaba. This proposed 10-county study area
is located in north-central Alabama and encompasses the Bir-
mingham and Tuscaloosa metropolitan areas. It is character-
ized by a water quantity problem involving interbasin
transfers which create problems of water quality and inter-
fere with other uses.
Other Major Planning Studies
Analyses of the problems and effects information indicate a need for
other major planning studies in 10 areas of the SAG. The areas recommended
for study, and problem issues to be addressed are:
Southeast South Carolina Coast
o Water quality, marine and estuarine
o Related lands, beach erosion
Coosa in Georgia
o Water quality, fresh surface
o Water quality, marine and estuarine
o Water quality, fresh surface
Central North Carolina Coast
o Water quality, marine and estuarine
76 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
o Water quantity, ground
(Beaufort County Area)
o Related lands, flooding
o Related lands, water related-use conflicts
Southeast South Carolina Coast, Georgia Coastal Plain, and
o Water quality, ground
(Southeast South Carolina coast and northeast Georgia coast)
o Water quality, ground
(Southeast Georgia and northeast Florida)
o Water quantity, ground
o Water quantity, ground
(Tombigbee in Mississippi)
o Water quality, ground
Mobile Lower Tombigbee
o Water quantity, fresh surface
o Water quality, ground
o Related lands, erosion/sedimentation
o Related lands, water-related use conflicts
o Water quantity, fresh surface
o Water quality, ground
o Related lands, water-related use conflicts
The degree of financial participation by local levels of government
in the other major planning studies such as those listed above varies from
State to State. This participation is in some instances legislated by
the State inthat taxes are imposed to operate water management districts
VOLUME 4 77
that participate in the planning for water resource projects. In other
States, local agencies may not participate financially in planning.
It is recommended that all levels of government become or continue
to be involved in these studies.
Data Collection and Research
During the Specific Problem Analysis, a number of needs were identi-
fied for data collection and research which would facilitate more effec-
tive planning andmanagement of the water and related land resources. These
needs are not always regionwide since some States do have adequate programs
for some of the items listed below. It is recommended that in those
instances where such programs are not adequate, consideration should be
given to taking the necessary action to correct deficiencies. Data collection
and research needs are many. The lack of adequate information and data
in many categories essential to comprehensive, multi-objective planning dic-
tates the following needs:
o Streamflows--More data on small streams, including published
data for low flows that can be utilized for planning, such
as the 7-day low flow with a 10-year frequency of recurrence;
and in-stream flow requirements and utilization for specific
uses, such as fish and wildlife.
o Water Quality--Up-to-date data on point sources of pollution
and stream water quality information, including data on non-
point source pollution.
o Water Withdrawals and Consumptive Use--Up-to-date information
on water withdrawals for all uses of both surface and ground
water and on consumptive use and water reuse, including infor-
mation and data on source location for each user.
o Inventory Data for Lakes and Ponds and Structures--More exten-
sive data on location and storage capacities of natural and
manmade lakes and ponds and on evaporation fromwater surfaces
for specific geographic locations, and data on dam structures
o Dependable Yield Data--Yield data for specific locations for
existing and potential surface- and ground-water sources used
or to be used for municipal and industrial water.
o Groundwater Aquifers--Specific information on aquifer yields,
recharge, water quality, movement of water in the aquifer,
physical characteristics, and theaquifer's interface with the
the ground surface, other aquifers, and salt water.
78 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
o Marine and Estuarine Water Resources--Data on the withdrawal and
in place use of such resources, including sufficient water quality
data to aid in determining the possibility of development and
use of these resources for shellfish production, nursery areas,
o Related Land Resources--A more thorough identification of all criti-
cal land areas, including: identification of wetlands, critical
environmental areas, recreation sites, historical sites, archaeo-
logical sites, natural areas, and habitat areas for rare, endangered,
or threatened species; identification and documentation of existing
andpotential wild and scenic streams with regard to location,
length, and other characteristics; and development of a uniform
system of land use classification.
o Data Storage and Retrieval System--Standardization in the col-
lection and processing of all data for each of the planning, design,
construction, and management processes of water and related land
resources projects or programs, including a system that provides
for storage and rapid retrieval of this information.
Timely research results are needed for solutions of problems. Action
is recommended to obtain information and data on the following:
o Improvement in technology on the use, reuse, and reclamation of
o Evaluations of the impacts of organic, inorganic, and thermal
wastes discharges on water use, reuse, and reclamation.
o Evaluations of the impacts from nonpoint source pollution and
how this pollution reaches surface waters.
o Technology to utilize storm waters in water-short areas.
o Evaluations of the impacts of resuspended solids on water quality.
o Technology for more effective control of aquatic weeds or plants
and for protection of water quality.
o Evaluations to determine the effects of heavy pumping, dewatering,
and/or mining of ground-water aquifers.
o Evaluations of the effects on ground-water quality of leaching
from sanitary landfills, spray irrigation of wastes, recharge of
ground-water with treated sewage, land subsidence, lateral and
VOLUME 4 79
vertical migration of saline water, deep-well wastes injection,
and discharges into abandoned mine areas.
o Technology for backpumping and recovery of excess water.
o Evaluations of impacts of non-structural methods of flood damage
o Evaluations of impacts of land use changes on water quantity,
water quality, and flow regimes, including such sensitive areas
as flood plains, wetlands, coastal areas, estuarine areas, moun-
tainous areas, and resource deposits.
o Development of more effective models to estimate soil erosion.
Legal implications, inadequate program management, insufficient fin-
ancing of the necessary water resource programs, and lack of policies
and goals were identified as problems needing resolution in the SAG.
It is recommended that legislation, funding, and staffing necessary to
bring about resolution of these problems be considered at the appropriate
level of government. Institutional arrangement problems needing consider-
ation and the level of government responsibility to resolve these problems
are as follows:
o Water allocation programs for all users of surface- and ground-
water with the States have the primary responsibility and Federal
and local governments a secondary responsibility.
o Interstate agreements on interbasin water transfers from interstate
streams with the States taking the primary responsibility and Federal
and local governments a secondary responsibility.
o Contingency plans for development and utilization of shortterm
water supplies with the States having the primary responsibility
and local governments secondary responsibility.
o Improved implementation of developed guidelines for considering
environmental issues inFederal projects and programs. Development
of statewide environmental guidelines. The States and Federal govern-
ments should share the primary responsibility for the environmental
considerations with local government having a secondary responsi-
o Improved coordination between Federal, State, and other entities
in all planning phases of water resource development projects and
programs, including plans for project operation. State, Federal,
and local governments should share the primary responsibility for
80 I SOUTH ATLANTIC-GULF REGION
o Implementation of adequate control techniques for location,
construction, operation, and abandonment of water wells with
the States having primary responsibility and local governments
o Improved implementation of established land use controls for
sensitive areas such as coastal areas, wetlands, flood plains,
mountainous areas, and other critical environmental areas.
State, Federal, and local governments should share the primary
responsibility for this.
o Improved coordination in data collection, storage and re-
trieval; research; and application of research findings with
States and Federal governments sharing primary responsibility.
o Development of executive orders or legislation adopting spe-
cific goals, desires, and objectives for growth and devel-
opment so that water resources are not unnecessary constraints.
State, Federal, and local governments should share the primary
responsibility for this.
o Programs and controls for improvement of water use effi-
ciencies. State, Federal, and local governments should share
the primary responsibility for this.
o Reduction of time lapse between conception and construction of
Federal projects. Some possible causes of delay arelimita-
tions in project funding, coordination, staffing, litigation,
data collection, public participation, and review time. States
and the Federal government should share primary responsibility
o A continuing assessment program is needed to keep the informa-
tion gathered in the 1975 National Water Assessment current,
to continually assess national water and related land resource
use problems, and to arrive at suggested studies to obtain
solutions to these problems. States and Federal government
should share in the primary responsibility for this.
o Certain areas in the SAG cannot afford their current share of
costs for all necessary water resource development and manage-
ment projects and programs. Federal government has the primary
responsibility for this.
o There is a need to allocate underground storage space so that
long range needs for this space is not jeopardized. The States
and Federal Government should share the primary responsibility
with local government having secondary responsibility.
*T US. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1979---306-614
The Second National Water Assessment
program, including the technical data input
and the final report, was the responsibility
of the U.S. Water Resources Council's
National Programs and Assessment Task
Group. Participants in the Group included
technical representatives from the Federal
member agencies, Regional Sponsors,
Regional Study Directors, numerous State
agencies, Council staff, and others as listed
on the facing cover.
NATIONAL PROGRAMS AND ASSESSMENT TASK GROUP
Lewis D. Walker, Water Resources Council, Chairman of Task Group
Federal Member Agenciesland Council Staff
Department of Agriculture
David K. Bowen
Roy M. Gray
Department of the Army
William T. Whitman
Department of Commerce
Department of Commerce-Con
Henry L DeGraff
Edward A. Trott, Jr
Department of Energy.
Ernest E Sligh
Louis A. Schuppin
Department of Housing and
Theodore H Levin
Environmental Protection Agency
Robert F. Powell
Department of the Interior.
Department of the Interior-Con
Water Resources Council
Jack R. Pickett
W. James Berry
Water Resources Council-Con
Raymond E. Barsch (IPA, California)
Edith B Chase (Detail, USGS)
Art Garrett (Detail. USGS)
Clive Walker (Detail. SCS)
Judith B. Smith
Regional Sponsors and Regional Study Directors
Region Sponsor Study Director
New England ................................. New England River Basins Commission ....................... Jane Carlson, Dave Holmes
M id-Atlantic .................................. U.S Army Corps of Engineers........................... Robert M eiklejohn, Kyle Schilling
South Atlantic-Gulf ....... ........... .... ... Southeast Basins Inter-Agency Committee .................... Douglas Belcher
Great Lakes .................................. Great Lakes Basin Commission ................ .......... Robert Reed. Allen Curtes, Dave Gregorka
Ohio ................... .................... Ohio River Basin Commission ............................ Steve Thrasher, Jim Webb
Tennessee ............. ..................... Tennessee Valley Authority ............................. .. Jack Davis
Upper Mississippi and Souris-Red-Ramy ......... Upper Mississippi River Basin Commission.................... Jeff Featherstone, Stan Wentz
Lower M ississippi ............................... U S. Army Corps of Engineers................................ Richard Stuart
M issouri ....................................... M issouri River Basin Comm mission ........................ Carroll M. Hamon, Amos Gresel
Arkansas-White-Red ...................... Arkansas-White-Red Basins Inter-Agency Committee.......... Kenneth Schroeder, Paul Willmore
Texas-Gulf ............ .................. Texas Department of W ater Resources ................... .. Arthur Simkins
Rio Grande ......................... ..... .. .R U.S. Bureau of Reclamation............... Kenneth Schroeder, Paul W illmore
Upper Colorado ................................. US Bureau of Reclamation ............................ Rival Goslin
Lower Colorado ........... ........... .. ... U S Bureau of Reclamation....................... ...... Dean Johanson
Great Basin ............................ ... States of Nevada and Utah ............................. Vic Hill, Barry Saunders
Pacific Northwest .................. .. .. .. Pacific Northwest River Basins Commission ................... Jack Johnson, W illiam Delay
California ............. ............... .. California Department of Water Resources........ .......... Jake Holderman
Alaska ................ ................... .. Alaska W ater Study Committee ....................... Jim Cheatham, Larry Parker
Hawaii ..................... ........... Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources ...... ....... Walter Watson
Caribbean ...... ............ .......... ... .. Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources ........... ..... Greg Morris
State and Other Representatives2
David A Gerke
James U McDaniel
Vernon E Valantine
Fred E Daubert
District of Columbia
J B Levesque
James R Wilson
Manuel Monzie. Jr
Warren D Reynolds
Richard L Wawrzyniak
John M Dewey
Joseph C Gibson
Jack W Pepper
Robert L Dunkeson
John E Acord
Robert E Cyphers
Randolph M Stelle
E Eugene Krenz
William G Mattox
James E Sexson
Chris L Wheeler
William N Frazier
Clair P Guess. Jr
Frank M Alexander
Herbert W Grubb
Lloyd H Austin
Dale F Jones
M S Baloch
Albert E Pratt
Principal Advisors and Reviewers
Jack Gladwell. University of Idaho
Ronald M North. University of Georgia
Warren Viessman, Jr Library of Congress
James Wade, University of Arizona
Mark Hughes, Consultant
Lance Marston. Consultant
H James Owen. Consultant
Harry A Steele. Consultant
Pat Waldo, Consultant
Francis M Warnick. Consultant
Bernard J Witzig. Consultant
Leo R. Beard. University of Texas
'The Washington staff of the Federal agencies was augmented by field office staff who participated with Washington offices or through the Regional Study Teams
'Several States had representatives on more than one Regional Study Team Contributions of those not named were greatly appreciated
The United States Water Resources Council
.vas established by the -1
Water Resources Planning Act of 1965
'",blic Law 89-80).
T1he purpose of the Council is to encourage the 0
conservation, development, and utilization
of water and related land resources
on a comprehensive and coordinated basis
by -he Federal government,
f.~tes, localities, and private enterprises
with the cooperation of all
affected Federal agencies,
States, local government, individual
corporations, business enterprises,
and others concerned.