Cool news about Georgia’s drought!

(Update: The blog Atlanta Water Shortage seems to have closed its doors. The url is now occupied by the web host and domain name sleazebags at

The team was heartened to learn that Georgia state officials, who at_river.jpghave done such a great job planning in the past, are confident that Atlanta will not run out of water!

Per the Atlanta Journal Constitution, via Atlanta Water Shortage, there are no plans to deal with a long-term drought in Atlanta. Even though there will mostly likely be a long-term drought in Atlanta.

This gem of a quote, highlighted by AWS and which pretty much encapsulates the incisive analysis that Georgia’s leaders bring to the table–is from Buzz Weiss, a spokesman for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency said:

I don’t really think there’s a sense we’ll be at a point where there is no water.

Errr. . . right, Buzz. suggests that we only take the first four words of that statement seriously, and otherwise ignore Buzz and his ilk and go to AWS for honest information about Georgia’s water situation.

There seems to be some confusion about the source of Atlanta’s water, which is the Hooch, as Georgians call the Chattahoochee River (see list of Georgia’s water sources) (and here), which graciously feeds Lake Lanier (We initially wrote “fills Lake Lanier,” but these days that would be a bit of an exaggeration.) before heading down to Atlanta to be overused and polluted, after which it heads down to Florida for a much deserved vacation. (This 2004 piece from Dead in the Water contains accurate information on Atlanta’s disintegrating water infrastructure, and the failure of a recent privatization effort.)

The Atlanta Journal Constitution article cited above states that 60 percent of Atlanta’s water comes out of Lake Lanier. We’ve also heard that it is the main source (mid-story). We’ve heard watersupply.gifthat it was the only source. We’ve heard that it was a secondary source. Come on, Georgia, which is it? Get your story straight!

The befuddlement is probably due to reporters who–like Atlantans–think Atlanta and northern Georgia are one and the same. In a sense, they are, because it’s all the same urban sprawl.

The map from the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, the water planning entity for the 16-county metro-Atlanta region, clarifies the situation: Lanier, fed by the Hooch, provides 72 percent of the entire region’s water; four other river basins provide the remainder. How much water the city of Atlanta proper takes directly from the Chattahoochee is as yet unclear to the researchers.


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