AIKEN, S.C. (SCRN/AP/WVOC) - An environmental group has dropped its lawsuit against a large potato farm planned in Aiken County after both sides reached a compromise on how much water would be drawn from the nearby Edisto River.
“Friends of the Edisto River” sued Walthers Farms over the company's plans to draw up to 9-billion gallons of water per year.
Walthers Farms President Jason Walthers says his operation agreed to get some of its irrigation water from other sources and cut its initial surface water withdrawal in half.
The Friends group agreed to refrain from taking further legal actions that would delay the 37-hundred farm from installing wells for irrigation purposes or planting crops in coming months.
Walthers says he didn't want a legal fight, but he believes everything happens for a reason.
“I'm excited for this year and for folks to get to know us and learn more about potatoes and to learn more about how we live and invest in the communities that we farm and I think that people will appreciate us more as they get to know us,” Walthers told the South Carolina Radio Network.
“I think that everything has turned out extremely positive.”
“Friends of the Edisto” President Tim Rogers says he likes the compromise, but wishes the farm would promise to draw less water during periods of drought.