Forsyth County was well represented at the recent meeting of the Joint Study Committee on Water Supply.
District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton and District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy, both Republicans from Cumming, attended the session, which focused on the tri-state water wars and on Gov.Nathan Deal’s Water Task Force.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that water supply for metro Atlanta is an authorized use of Lake Lanier.
Murphy was pleased with the court’s decision, but the committee needs to be careful.
“Even if we have Lake Lanier in the future, Lake Lanier will not give enough water to meet our needs in the future,” he said. “We need to do everything we can to be moving forward … and come up with meaningful water legislation.”
The court ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake, to determine how much water Lanier can supply. That process is ongoing.
“Regardless of how that question is answered, we must continue to expand our state’s water supply infrastructure,” Hamilton said. “This is the only way to ensure that we continue meeting the needs of our growing state.”
The committee also received information about the governor’s commitment of $300 million over four years for reservoir and water supply development.
“While $300 million sounds like a lot of money, it’s not that much for the number of projects and short time frame we are working with to simply maintain Georgia’s water supply,” Hamilton said. “That’s why we need to make sure we don’t waste time or money on the wrong projects.”