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Rain cant wash away water woes
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Forsyth County News
This spring’s onslaught of rain has brought with it a threat, and it’s not flooding. It’s complacency.

With the ground soggy and Lake Lanier slowly but surely easing back toward a respectable shoreline, it’s easy to pretend we’ve dodged a bullet and our water supply concerns are a thing of the past.

But to do so would be foolish, short-sighted and potentially disastrous.

What many of us — including our elected and appointed government leaders — fail to consider is that the state, especially the multicounty metro Atlanta region, was in a bind over water before the most recent drought ever began.

Complicating the issue is the reality that despite decades of negotiations and legal wrangling, the “tri-state water wars” putting Georgia, Florida and Alabama at odds over the discharges from Lake Lanier have never been brought to an end.

With spring rains washing away the urgency of the most recent drought period, government leaders are consumed with handling what they consider to be more pressing economic concerns.

Despite some tentative steps in the right direction over the past couple of years, Georgia still does not have an aggressive plan in place for building new reservoirs, mandating cutting edge technologies in wastewater treatment, or dealing with the potential of a crippling water crisis in a progressive and proactive manner.

If elected officials at any level are looking at a good return for their investment, water projects could certainly benefit from public economic stimulation funds.

It is human nature that absent the urgency of crisis many of us will resort to old habits when it comes to water usage. leaving behind attempts at conservation that have reduced consumption over the last couple of years.

The impetus to push forward with water projects will take a back seat to other, more pressing concerns. The political support that might have come from championing water as a cause will go instead to those who fly the flag for lower taxes, more jobs and economic gains.

That’s the nature of the beast.

But here are some sobering realities to ponder the next time the skies darken with moisture bearing clouds:

• There is no economic issue more important than a safe and plentiful water supply.

• There are no easy solutions.

• The water crisis existed before the drought, and hasn’t gone away because of the rain.