Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A US water conflict: Atlanta vs rural Georgia vs Florida

Created by the completion of a dam in 1956 Lake Sidney Lanier is a reservoir in the northern part of Georgia, USA. Just north of Atlanta it now supplies this city with about three fourths of its tap water. Now as water is less abundant and Atlanta has grown huge a two decade dispute over use of the reservoir water is heating up. A recent court ruling has taken authority from the Army Corps of Engineers to congress.

Atlanta is accused of being "overdeveloped", downstream farmers fear their crops will thirst and wilt, Florida is being blamed on their poor "environmental history". Could get interesting.

According to Robert Glennon, Professor of Law and Public Policy at University of Arizona this is far from a unique dispute. From press info on his most recent book:
The looming catastrophe remains hidden as government diverts supplies from one area to another to keep water flowing from the tap. But sooner rather than later, the shell game has to end. And when it does, shortages will threaten not only the environment, but every aspect of American life: we face shuttered power plants and jobless workers, decimated fi sheries and contaminated drinking water.

(My added emphasis.) July 16, 2009 Professor Glennon was on The Daily Show:

Sources: Lake Lanier at Wikipedia, Federal judge sends water war to Congress, Judge rules against Atlanta regional water wars, Daily Show this Thurs: Can Jon Stewart make the water crisis funny?.


  1. Water war or water diplomacy?
    "When Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue threatened to play hardball with Florida and Alabama over this issue he made it clear that fair play was not part of his DNA. He is determined to look after his own constituents and if non-Georgians are harmed, so be it. We should expect more from our state leaders."


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