Georgias failure to plan affects east Alabama

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Even with each new day providing more relief from the summer heat, each day also seems to bring more bad news related to the historic drought in our region.

About three-fourths of the state is still categorized as experiencing an exceptional drought, but the news this time came from neighboring Georgia. Lake Allatoona near Atlanta feeds the Coosa River, and, in turn, the Alabama River.

Understandably, Atlanta officials are pretty stingy with their water because they want to keep enough in Allatoona to provide for the largest city in the South. It&8217;s harder to understand why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers favor Georgia over Alabama when disputes arise over the amount of water our neighbors release into our rivers.

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But that&8217;s for another column. This one is about the apparent lack of a plan from Atlanta officials about what they would do if things don&8217;t improve. According to the Associated Press, &8220;no real backup exists. And there are no quick fixes among suggested solutions, which include piping water in from rivers in neighboring states, building more regional reservoirs, setting up a statewide recycling system or even desalinating water from the Atlantic Ocean.&8221;

Great. Atlanta already keeps water from flowing into our rivers, and a fix to their shortage on the list of possibilities at some point was stealing the water already in our state? That might not go over so well.

So, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue will rely on urging water conservation and reducing our river flow even more.

Let&8217;s just hope the federal judge Perdue plans to ask to force more flow reductions doesn&8217;t give in. It&8217;s hard to see why Alabama should suffer for something Georgia failed to plan for.