'Increasing water production at the source: Impacts of longleaf pine savanna restoration in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Basin (GA, FL, AL)' with Dennis Hallema, Hydrologist with the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service
Pressure on water resources in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin has increased over the past few decades as a result of urbanization and agricultural expansion, revealing the need for long term water planning. The ACF Basin covers 19,800 square miles in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, and supplies water to 3 million people living in the greater Atlanta Metropolitan Area, among other users. Drought conditions return every 1 to 4 years, with most significant impact occurring during the summer when water demand for residential use and crop irrigation is highest. In view of growing water demand and competing water interests of the three states, we will explore how existing and planned efforts to restore longleaf pine savanna landscapes native to the Southeast Coastal Plain can help increase surface water resources. Simulations with the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) suggest that longleaf pine savanna restoration has potential benefits to water supply, and can increase water production in the summer when water demand is highest.