Tag Archives: irrigation

Suwannee Riverkeeper asks Georgia EPD to require Valdosta to do better about its record sewage spill 2019-12-17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, December 19, 2019 — Compelled by the severity of Valdosta’s record raw sewage spill and the expenses and stigma incurred nearby and downstream, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition has sent a letter requesting ten enforcment actions to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD). WWALS member Deanna Mericle of Hamilton County, Florida, summed it up: “As a person living downstream on the Withlacoochee River in Florida, I feel shat upon by Valdosta over and over. I cannot drink the water from my well. I worry about the health of the river itself and the animals that live in it and drink from it. We in Florida were patient while Valdosta was improving their wastewater plant, which apparently was not adequate since we still have spills when it rains heavily. But this time it was not a rain event. It was gross negligence. I am out of patience. I believe it is time for legal action.”

The Suwannee Riverkeeper letter notes GA-EPD already has a legal action against Valdosta, a Consent Order. WWALS asks GA-EPD to use its enforcement power to require notification, water quality testing, education, and plans and procedures not only for preventing such spills but also for tracking them as they travel down our creeks and rivers and for remediation of effects on wells and reputation.

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“Valdosta says it does what GA-EPD tells it to do, so we’re asking GA-EPD to tell them,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Today we’re forwarding the letter to Continue reading

Fragility of monoculture agriculture in varying water conditions

They don’t want to say “we don’t know,” but they don’t know. At least they have a working hypothesis about the collapse of the 2017 peanut crop in much of Florida: it has to do with variations in rainfall.

Bob Kemerait, Southeast Farm Press, 22 January 2018, Peanut collapse: Something happened but it’s not clear exactly why,

…For months, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension agents led by Anthony Drew, Mace Bauer and Dee Broughton had been sounding the alarm that an unprecedented collapse of the peanut crop was occurring across large areas of Florida’s production region. Symptoms of this collapse included stunted plants, late-season yellowing and leaves with distinctive marginal leaf necrosis. Where most severe, entire fields wilted in the weeks prior to harvest. Abysmal yields, off by as much as 45 percent, forced some to consider their future in farming if solution could not be found.

During the latter third of the season, Continue reading

Antioch Cemetery in a field, Jasper, FL

“Gone but not forgotten” say many of the epitaphs Closer in Antioch Cemetery, stranded in the middle of a center pivot field near Jasper, Hamilton County, Florida. Who did this? Could it be Bill Gates?

The cemetery is at the end of SW 38 Trail, 30.4606571, -83.1870117, in a tiny 1.97 acre parcel 4736-000 owned by Continue reading

Video: Steam engine, bridges, trees, beaches, and trash: Alapaha River by Diane Shearer

Also boating, deadfalls, steam engine, and rapids. Diane Shearer presented slides about the Alapaha River of her homeland, 31 March 2012 at Georgia River Network Weekend for Rivers, and said:

Right there at Alapaha, where it’s been clearcut behind it. This is one of the main problems of the river: there used to be nothing on that shore there but huge cypress trees and tupelo trees, and that’s almost gone everywhere. And that’s one of the great dangers to this river, is agricultural runoff, the fact that people can suck all the water out of it they want to, for irrigation and those sorts of things.

The video starts Continue reading

Agricultural land bought by west coast investors

Investment firms owned by Bill Gates have bought thousands of acress of agricultural land in counties in or near WWALS watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida, all above the Floridan Aquifer, near the Alapaha, Alapahoochee, Withlacoochee, and Suwannee Rivers, as part of a nationwide buying spree of a quarter million acres.

Here’s a summary of what we’ve found thus far. Any more recent posts should be found through this search.

These purchases of hundreds and thousands of contiguous acres are all after Bill Gates announced in 2012 he was going to “fix” agriculture in conjunction with Monsanto and Syngenta.

And it’s not just Bill Gates. Continue reading