November 22, 2021
Clean Water Alabama Team,
At the invitation of Richard Peterson, this past Saturday (Nov 13th, 2021) Mike Dudley and I attended a meeting at Magnolia Springs City Hall where Richard presented a proposed storm-water recharge project for the control of runoff and flooding impacting that community. Magnolia Springs Mayor, Kim Koniar was in attendance along with Judy Haner, Marine Program Director for The Nature Conservancy; Mike Reid, State Director of The Nature Conservancy; Scot Duncan, PhD. Professor of Biology, Birmingham Southern College; and Tom McLeod, Board Member of Alabama Scenic River Trail. The purpose of the meeting was to enlist support of The Nature Conservancy for this project.
We have discussed the storm-water recharge concept at past Clean Water Alabama meetings. The proposal for Magnolia Springs is to utilize 18 acres as a collection basin and to add three recharge features for recharging the water table. You will recall that a pilot study of this concept was conducted in Foley a few years back (airfield). The results showed that water collected in the recharge pond absorbed water into the water table at a rate of approximately 80% compared to a rate of 20% for the conventional retention pond. In addition to the 18-acre recharge pond, additional recharge features are being proposed for individual homes and businesses via a rain barrel collection system and small recharge features. Those can be considered separate from the 18-acre pond depending on funding and acceptance by homeowners and businesses.
The net takeaway from the meeting was that The Nature Conservancy will assist Magnolia Springs by helping the City seek grant money through Restore funds and/or a FEMA program they referred to as FEMA-Go Building Resilience in Communities (BRIC). Ms. Haner offered to facilitate in making the necessary contacts in this regard.
I am proposing that we do all that we can to assist Richard Peterson and Magnolia Springs to successfully “land” this project for the following reasons:
I look forward to further discussions with the CWA members.