Economy and Land Use

economy and land use chattahoochee
Map and land use data developed by Alabama Water Watch

The percent of residential land in the greater ACF (Appalachicola, Chattahoochee, Flint) basin is expected to increase by more than 60 percent, an increase from 6 to 9% of total land area from 679,700 acres to 1,100,000 acres. Most of this land will be in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. The amount of land devoted to forest use is forecast to decline 7 percent between 1995 and 2050. The percent of forest land will decline from 66 to 61%. (Corps)

Residential land use in the Appalachicola, Chattahoochee, Flint Basin is expected to increase by more than 60% between 1995 and 2050. Commercial and industrial land use is expected to increase by 40%.

Total developed land would increase from 9% of total area to 12.4% by 2050 in the ACF basin.

Walter F. George has 2,698 acres of palustrine wetlands. Emergent wetlands comprise 31 percent of this total, forested wetlands 28%, lake edge wetlands 24%, and scrub-shrub 17%. There are an additional 1,653 acres of additioanal wetlands between the normal pool and top of dam elevations.

Phenix City is the only Alabama city within the basin with a population greater than 25,000. According to the 1990 census they have 25,312 residents.

Population in Chattahoochee Basin in Alabama in 1995 is approximately 314,000.

69.2% are white
29.8% are black
20.1% within the basin live below the poverty level

Projected population growth for the basin in Alabama is 392,000 in 2020 and 490,000 in 2050, an average of about 1% per year.

According to the 1990 census approximately 40,500 people in the Chattahoochee Basin in Alabama were employed in agriculture, forestry or fisheries industries.

  • Total personal income in the basin was $2,896,000 in 1985 and $5,437,000 in 1995.
  • Per capita income was $10,919 in 1985 and $12,889 in 1995. Growth of 1.8%
  • Per capita in the state as a whole for ’95 was $17,287
  • Employment in in 1985 was 100,090 and in 1995 128,143. Growth of 2.8%

Manufacturing is very important to the Alabama portion of the basin, employing 26.9% of the area or 34,493. Next highest non-farm employment is wholesale and retail trade.

Commercial traffic in the ACF basin is almost entirely related to movement of local natural resources. The majority of the commerce that moves on the waterway is sand and gravel (44%), which is dredged from river and lake bottoms. The remaining commerce includes agricultural chemicals (28%), pertroleum products, and limited amounts of industrial chemicals, asphalt, wood products, and cotton seeds. 10% of traffic is outbound and 50% is inbound and the remainder is internal within the watershed.

Economic impacts of various flow scenarios. Low flow annual average cost would be $329,500. Moderate flow – $218,700, high flow – $0.