Protect Healthy Flows in America’s Longest Blackwater River
The Edisto River is America’s longest free-flowing blackwater river. The river is home to gamefish, endangered sturgeon, swallow-tailed kite, and other magnificent fish and wildlife. Families from across the state enjoy the river for fishing, boating, and its renowned scenic beauty. South Carolina’s rivers, when clean and flowing, are worth billions of dollars to the state’s economy.
However, the river is at risk due to unchecked water withdrawals from agriculture. Current regulations in South Carolina allow agricultural users to take up to 80 percent of the average river flow without any requirements to reduce their withdrawals — even during times of extreme drought. This puts wildlife habitat and water quality in danger and even causes problems for fishing and boating in the river.
Governor Haley and the South Carolina General Assembly need to make agricultural water users play by the same rules as everyone else. Tell them to ensure healthy flows for the Edisto and all of South Carolina's rivers by requiring agricultural users to comply with the same rules as industrial and municipal users who must curtail their water use at critical times to ensure healthy river flows are protected.
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