By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Resolving water woes vital to fate of region
Placeholder Image
Forsyth County News
As has been noted in this space before, the single biggest factor in determining the future of Forsyth County and the rest of metro Atlanta is the availability of water.

With plentiful supplies of water, the region will flourish, grow and prosper. At some unknown date in the future the current economic doldrums will be behind us and a future bright and golden will beckon.

Without adequate water, the region’s growth will stagnate. Burdensome taxes will rest heavily on the shoulders of existing taxpayers. Residential property owners will carry the tax burden once envisioned for commercial properties. Growth strategies devised in better days will haunt with teases of what might have been.

The availability of water is that important.

That said, it was enocouraging to see Gov. Sonny Perdue at Buford Dam last week, signing legislation meant to reduce water usage in the state and, hopefully, to show a sign of good faith to Florida and Alabama as a means of resolving the decades long tri-state water wars.

The legislation signed by the governor addresses water conservation on a number of fronts, from mandating increased water efficiency through building codes to making available loans for building and expanding new reservoirs.

The law also bans almost all outdoor watering between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Of particular interest in the legislation is the loan program for building reservoirs. The process for doing so is long and expensive, and the need obvious. For too long too many communities have depended on the water resources of Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River.

But beyond the obvious practical measures, the legislation has the potential to be an important cog in moving toward an end-game in the water feud between Georgia, Florida and Alabama that has outlasted several governors.

The ruling last year by U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson that there is no legal authorization for using Lanier’s resources in the current manner has given new urgency to a resolution.

Magnuson gave the three states three years to reach a compromise on water allocation; one of those years already has passed.

Perdue’s term as governor comes to an end this year. He pledged last week that he would work until the last day of his tenure if necessary to forge a compromise.

If he can do so, it would serve as a legacy upon which a prosperous future can be built.