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Stakeholders group commits to finishing water plan
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A private group agreed this week to spend the money necessary to complete a water management plan for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin, which includes Lake Lanier.

The ACF Stakeholders’ 56-member governing board, meeting earlier this week in Eufaula, Ala., directed its technical contractors — Black & Veatch, Atkins Global and the Georgia Water Resources Institute at Georgia Tech — to finish its work this summer with the goal of wrapping up the Sustainable Water Management Plan by late fall.

Crafting the plan has been the organization’s goal since its creation nearly five years ago.

“I am looking forward to unveiling this year a (plan) that balances the needs of all the interests and stakeholders that rely on the (basin),” board Chairman Jim McClatchey said. “Though much has been accomplished, there is still a lot of work that must be done. I am confident that we will get there.”

ACF officials have said the aim is for the water plan to be based on science, data and consensus among members from the states that make up the basin — Alabama, Florida and Georgia, which otherwise have been involved in a 20-year legal water-sharing battle.

The group has raised some $1.6 million in the effort.