By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A conservation group on Tuesday again placed South Carolina’s Edisto River on the list of the nation’s most most-endangered rivers, warning the Edisto continues to be threatened because much of its water is being used for large farming operations.

The Edisto is No. 5 on the list of the most-endangered rivers released by American Rivers. A year ago it was No. 6.

The Edisto is one of the longest free-flowing black water rivers in the nation and runs about 250 miles from its sources in Saluda and Edgefield counties in western South Carolina to the sea. Black water rivers flow slowly through swamps and bottomland.

The Edisto is the only river in the Carolinas on the list.

Last year, American Rivers also listed the Haw River which flows 110 miles from the piedmont until it meets the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. That river made the list last year because of concerns about polluted runoff and wastewater.

The advocacy group says that when South Carolina approved a water withdrawal and permitting law five years ago for industrial and other uses, there was an agricultural exemption.

The group is calling for passage of a House bill that would let farmers to continue to draw water they now use but would require future large-scale agricultural operations to now get withdrawal permits.

The conservation group lists the Colorado River flowing through the Grand Canyon as the nation’s most-endangered river.

The group said the Colorado is threatened by a project that would build a tram to the bottom of the canyon, bringing thousands of people a day to the edge of the river.

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