Dams affect flow, sediment passage, oxygen, temperature, and habitat. They have severely altered the state of Alabama's Black Warrior River . A series of fourteen locks and dams were built on the river in the late 1800s. In the 1930s, work began to replace those dams with a more modern series of four locks and dams. The river is heavily used by barges for the transport of commercial commodities such as coal, coke, steel, wood, and chemicals. These dams have created a number of lake-like reservoirs stealing the river’s free-flowing beauty. To view a map showing existing locks and dams on the Black Warrior River click here.
Unfortunately, the threat of dams still looms in our watershed...
The City of Cullman has received a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dam the Duck River. The Alabama Rivers Alliance, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Wild South, the Friends of the Mulberry Fork, and individual citizens unfortunately lost a lawsuit challenging this unnecessary dam on the Duck River. The new reservoir aims to provide drinking and industrial water, yet this reservoir's water quality will become very polluted from the waste created by Cullman County's state-leading number of industrial chicken factories. We hope the City of Cullman will reconsider their decision to dam the river and make the right choice by choosing water conservation and efficiency over the damming of a beautiful free-flowing river.
Cullman County, the largest customer of Cullman's water supply, has come up with a new plan to draw water from Smith Lake. This plan would not require a new dam and the water in Smith Lake is much cleaner than the Duck River source. We think this plan makes much more sense and would cost much less than the Duck River reservoir both in terms of money and environmental consequences.
Proposed dam site on the Duck River, just North of Hwy. 278, to the East of Cullman. (Cullman County, Alabama)
Photo by Nelson Brooke