Leon SWCD has recently been approved to join in with a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that spans from northern Georgia to the gulf of Mexico in Florida.
The Apalachicola/Flint river RCPP has been funded with $8,000,000 to reduce water withdrawals and improve water quality in the Apalachicola basin. In the 2017 grant application for this RCPP, the Flint River SWCD in Georgia has agreed to include the Ochlockonee basin, together with their basin, in their grant application. They will be asking for $10,000,000 instead of $8,000,000 because of the addition of the Ochlockonee basin in their grant application.
The purpose of including the Ochlockonee basin is to reduce groundwater consumption in the basin by assisting in irrigation improvements in the basin. Florida will receive probably around 15% of the grant monies. Leon SWCD has identified issues relating to the reduction of groundwater levels in Florida that could affect spring flows potable water availability in Florida that result from water withdrawals in Georgia, and is trying to proactively address those issues.
Bill Howell is the Chair of the Leon SWCD in Tallahassee Florida. He retired from the Florida DEP in 2012 and currently has an investment company and an organic garden on 5 acres in Tallahassee.