Flowing Rivers under Riparian Law

Session Date & Time: 
May 7, 2012 - 10:30am
Session Length: 
90 minutes
Skill Level: 
Intermediate/Advanced
Presenter(s): 

Mitchell Reid, Program Director, alabama rivers alliance

This workshop will delve into the status of Riparian Law in Southeastern states and discuss the evolution that is transforming much of the region from traditional riparianism to regulated regimes. The workshop will discuss common issues that the region faces and compare how riparian law responds to these issues and contrasts this with how various regulated systems in the regions are meeting these same challenges. The workshop will conclude with an indepth case study of Alabama which places great emphasis on protecting riparian traditions and the ongoing grassroots movement that is breaking down traditional political and stakeholder barriers in order to develop a comprehensive water management plan for the state.

Attendees should include individuals and organizations that are working to protect flow and water levels, those that are struggling with current policies that do not adequately protect watershed systems as a whole, and those interested in the evolving discussion of "water rights" in America.

At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees should have a better understanding of the state of water rights in the south and how traditional riparian water law compares to a regulated riparian regime, and they will gain insight into a grass-roots movement that is overcoming "traditional" barriers in an effort to pass sweeping policy changes at the state level.

Presenter Bio(s): 

Mitch Reid is the program director for the Alabama Rivers Alliance. Mitch hales from Bellwood, Alabama, a small town in Southeast Alabama right on the Choctawhatchee River in Geneva, county. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Alabama, School of Law. After West Point, Mitch served in the Army until 2004 where he was stationed for most of his military career in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 16th Military Police Brigade. During this time, he was deployed to Afghanistan from August of 2002 until March of 2003. While at the Alabama Rivers Alliance, Mitch has been instrumental in working with both the State and Federal Government towards real and lasting protections of Alabama's rivers. Some of the projects that Mitch is working on include reforming the State's water regulation program, a petition to the EPA to reform ADEM's pollution permitting program, the relicensing of several Alabama Power hydroelectric dams under the oversight of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and working with partner groups from around the state to develop protective and sustainable water policies for Alabama. Most recently, Mitch presented ARA's vision for water management to the annual meeting of the Alabama Water Resources Association in Orange Beach, Alabama. During his free time, Mitch and his wife Sarah enjoy paddling and photographing the beautiful rivers and streams of their state.