By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Reservoir debate worth diving into
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
The lingering drought that has left North Georgia parched for the past couple of years, coupled with a steady increase in the demand for water created by the region’s population, have made a couple of things obvious:
• We need more sources of potential drinking water, and
• We need to diversify in order to draw water from multiple river basins.
That is what makes the county’s consideration of building a new reservoir on the Etowah River an intriguing proposition.
County commissioners last month agreed to seek a state grant from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority as a first step toward the possibility of building a new lake to help meet the county’s water needs.
The state is encouraging construction of water reservoirs by local governments, and there is sure to be competition for the $3.5 million sought by Forsyth officials as seed money for the project.
Even if the grant is approved, the county would shoulder the bulk of the financing for building a proposed 180-acre reservoir, which is expected to cost some $14 million.
We’re convinced an additional reservoir for the county that does not depend on the Chatta-hoochee River basin is an idea worth pursuing even if the state grant money is not available.
It’s far too early to say whether the county could successfully navigate all the hurdles required to build such a water supply — from environmental concerns to property acquisition and final price tag — but the possibilities certainly are worthy of in-depth review and discussion.
Even when the current drought runs its cycle and the rains come again on a regular basis, the increasing demand for water is going to continue to put a burden on existing water resources.
At the same time, there are water safety and security issues that arise from having the entire area dependent on water from a single river basin.
Having a secondary source from a different river system would certainly be a long-term asset. In the years to come, communities that have some degree of water independence are more likely to flourish than those that don’t.
It would take years to make any such reservoir a reality, but the water worries of recent months make it obvious that something needs to be done. We encourage county officials to continue discussion of the reservoir plan, and to see if it is a viable option regardless of whether state grant money is available for construction.