Protecting a precious resource
Alabama is blessed with abundant water resources. Wise stewardship will help ensure that future generations can still enjoy what we have today. Alabama Power is one of the largest water managers in the state, with 11 company-owned lakes and 14 hydroelectric plants that produce emission-free electricity. The company's reservoirs contain some 157,000 acres of water and 4,000 miles of shoreline. The careful management of these resources helps provide drinking water, recreation, wildlife and fish habitat. Releases of water from the company's storage reservoirs support commercial navigation and can lessen the impact of droughts and floods. The company has received several awards for its efforts to manage and protect water, including the Outstanding Stewardship for American Rivers Award from the National Hydropower Association.
One important element in our efforts is protecting water quality and species habitat. Our employees not only monitor water quality on Alabama lakes and rivers, they also look for innovative ways to protect the water we use at our generation facilities. For example, at Plant Gorgas in Walker County, the company constructed a wetlands that provides a low-maintenance, chemical-free water treatment system, much like natural wetlands filter water that flows to rivers and streams. We also are working with partners to protect the habitat of the flattened musk turtle on Smith Lake by conducting research and developing enhanced natural stabilization methods to help shoreline residents preserve the federally threatened species’ habitat.
Renew Our Rivers - a cooperative effort
Another award-winning initiative is the Renew Our Rivers campaign, which Alabama Power spearheaded in 2000 and has since grown into community cleanups on rivers, lakes and creeks across four Southeastern states. Since its start, thousands of volunteers have removed more than12 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways. Typically, more than two dozen community cleanups take place every year in Alabama alone.
Now one of the largest volunteer river cleanup campaigns in the Southeast, Renew Our Rivers has received multiple honors from Keep America Beautiful and has been recognized by the Alabama Wildlife Federation, among other organizations. It has also helped spawn an award-winning education program, Message in a Bottle, which teaches students in Alabama and Mississippi about litter prevention. Visit Renew Our Rivers to learn more about how you can get involved.