It’s still a drought, stupid!

In a lengthy, well-written article about Georgia’s ongoing water woes, writer Rick Perlstein, via, excoriates the state’s legislators and decision makers (oops, we mean deciders). The subtitle sums it up nicely:

The colossal mismanagement of water in Georgia has produced an urban crisis with no clear solution other than a return to smart government.

The editorial team of are as one in our agreement with Perlstein. In fact, our earlier collective outrage concerning the lack of real leadership in Georgia led to the four-part It’s a drought, stupid series. In part three, we discussed Georgia’s dependence on and overuse of one little ‘ol river, the Chattahoochee, which Georgians call the Hooch:

In 1991, Atlanta pumped 3.8 billion gallons of water from the Hooch; in 2001 the figure jumped to 20 billion gallons. Rationality would dictate that the powers-that-be advocate conserving water and limiting growth. But until very recently rationality has been off the table in greed-driven Atlanta, and the city’s “leaders” have chosen instead to grab more of the beleaguered Hooch’s water with new dams and reservoirs and to merrily continue building out every square foot of the region. All of this of course is enraging municipalities, regions, and states to the south.

In part four, we discussed the merits of the state’s governor, Sonny Perdue:

Whenever we’ve written It’s a drought, stupid!, we’ve thought of Governor Sonny Perdue.

We’re not, we hasten to add, saying that Perdue is stupid. We don’t know for sure. ph2007111500321.jpgIt’s just that he instantly comes to mind when we write It’s a drought, stupid!. Maybe it’s because of his Take a Shorter Shower month (shorter shower instructions here); maybe it’s because he recently convened a prayer group to pray for rain (and here; video here).

in the quote above, Perlstein mentions the need for a return to smart government. We don’t really know if there was ever any smart government in Georgia, but they certainly have to do better than Perdue.


Four of Popular Mechanic’s Top 10 infrastructure fixes are water related!

(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

Atlanta Water Shortage points to this Popular Mechanic‘s story, The Ten Pieces of Infrastructure We Must Fix Now. We’re bursting with self-involved excitement over here at because four of the 10 imminent disasters are water related!

Our copy editor is now running three office pools: one to pick the day that Kentucky’s Wolf Creek Dam will collapse and inundate nearby Nashville, Tenn. and surrounding communities, and one to pick the date that an earthquake will severely damage the levees in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, (and here) to flood miles of surrounding farmland and compromise the drinking water of 66 percent of California’s population.

Think you have the inside scoop on when the Herbert Hoover Dike will fail and allow Lake Okeechobee’s contents to flood the homes of the 40,000 or so lakeside residents and maybe even contaminate all of southern Florida’s water supply? Hey, lay your money down and fill out a bracket! Experts say that each year there’s a one-in-six chance that it’s going to happen!

And no story about potential water disasters would be complete without mentioning water- and leadership-challenged Atlanta, Georgia, which is losing 18 percent of its water from leaking pipes! That’s treated water, my friends (as the brain-cell challenged Republican presidential candidate might say). We discussed this abhorrent fact in part 2 of our oft-cited It’s a Drought, Stupid series. A mini-desalination unit for your tears

Herein, sorely vexed by the fact that an entire hour has been stolen from our lives by a magical process called daylight saving, we sullenly and lazily provide links to a lot of bad news about water, complete with peevish commentary.

Water makes US troop in Iraq sick.
images.jpgThanks to Dick Cheney (Where is he now, anyway? We should never let him out of our sight.), G.I.’s in Iraq are exposed to water so contaminated that it makes them sick after using it for personal hygiene or laundry.


California farmers planning to sell “their” water.
farmer-duck.jpgFrom the economics blog, The Bayesian Heresy:

With water becoming increasingly precious in California, a rising number of farmers figure they can make more money by selling their water than by actually growing something.

Yes, we know, WTF?? Rather than toiling in their fields, many California farmers will soon be spending their days sipping avocado gimlets on their spacious redwood patios overlooking their fallow acres, iPhones to their ears, entertaining competing bids for their subsidized water from drought-panicked Southern California municipalities.

The water is subsidized so the indolent hayseeds can raise crops at competitive prices, not so they can become languorous water magnates. It’s not “their” goddamn water to do with as they please. If it’s more money they want, why can’t they grow marijuana or opium poppies like other struggling farmers around the world?

California avocado growers forced to restrict crops.
avocado-friend-or-foe.jpgAn avocado shortage could cause riots in California. The money graf (at least in respect to why Southern California should quickly be put under martial law):

The tree cutting comes as residents in Los Angeles, San Diego and most other area cities are still getting 100 percent of the water they need, with most of it going for lawns and landscaping.

“People need to know that in Southern California, water is a precious resource. But they’d rather water their lawns and cut off the farmers,” said Laura Blank, executive director of the Los Angeles County Farm Bureau.

Tri-state water war heats up!
wildsling.jpg Because states are run by developers and their elected minions, water disputes are not settled in a rational manner beneficial to the states’ residents. They are instead fought out in court in an endless series of expensive lawsuits and counter-suits on the taxpayer’s dime solely to determine which group of snorting water hogs will have first dibs at the trough. If you think any of this water war business has anything to do with anything but screwing the many for the benefit of a very few, well, we over here at—where today’s motto is A tool and his pool are soon parted—just don’t know what to tell you.

Kansas City resident finds water on the bottom of her dishwasher between washings!
967-handy_andy_ho_0449f_03-09-2008_qcl9267embeddedprod_affiliate81.jpg Plumbing advice columnist Andy, of Andy’s Pipe Dream in nearby Lenexa, urges bringing in a professional to handle the problem! smells a conflict of interest coming up from that drain.

Southeastern Water War: Tennessee blinks, sends capitulatory water to Georgia

“Too little, too late,” snarls Governor Sonny Perdue. “We want the Tennessee River’s water, and by golly gumdrops, we’re gonna have it!”

Actually, Perdue didn’t say that, but he could have, because, like the members of the Georgia legislature, he’s a shameless idiot who should be removed from office. The state’s newest solution to rifleman.jpgpersistent drought and the imminent drying up of Atlanta? Why, revive a centuries’ old border dispute between the Water Hog State and Tennessee, and move Geogia’s border approximately 1-1/2 miles to the north to include a portion of the Tennessee River. This would give Georgia’s real-estate developers—the state’s true rulers—access to that flow’s prodigious waters, and would make thousands of Tennesseans instant pissed-off citizens of Georgia in the process. (This just in: Perdue has indicated that Georgia would declare Tennesseans caught up in the land grab illegal aliens and deport them.)

No really, all of that is true. Well, we made up the Perdue quote and the illegal alien stuff, but there are things that you can’t make up, no matter how much Jack Daniels you drink.

Tennesseans have responded predictably, as the linked article states, “with humor, anger and defiance.” (And, as in any beautiful spring dispute, a Southern man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of gun play: “Us good Tennesseeans (sic) will take our long rifles up to Lookout Mountain and fire when ready,” said Justin Wilson, a Nashville attorney and former deputy governor.)

Mayor Ron Littlefield of Chattanooga, now arguably America’s funniest mayor, took the humor high road and made a creative gesture of peace, conciliation, and wicked shame to Georgia by proclaiming February 27 “Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day” and delivering a truckload of bottled water to the legislators—driven mad, proclaimed Littlefield, by thirst. The proclamation follows in its entertaining entirety.

WHEREAS, it has come to pass that the heavens are shut up and a drought of Biblical proportions has been visited upon the Southern United States, and

WHEREAS, the parched and dry conditions have weighed heavily upon the State of Georgia and sorely afflicted those who inhabit the Great City of Atlanta, and

WHEREAS, the leaders of Georgia have assembled like the Children of Israel in the desert, grumbled among themselves and have begun to cast longing eyes toward the north, coveting their neighbor’s assets, and

WHEREAS, the lack of water has led some misguided souls to seek more potent refreshment or for other reasons has resulted in irrational and outrageous actions seeking to move a long established and peaceful boundary, and

WHEREAS, it is deemed better to light a candle than curse the darkness, and better to offer a cool, wet kiss of friendship rather than face a hot and angry legislator gone mad from thirst, and

WHEREAS, it is feared that if today they come for our river, tomorrow they might come for our Jack Daniels or George Dickel,

NOW THEREFORE, In the interest of brotherly love, peace, friendship, mutual prosperity, citywide self promotion, political grandstanding and all that

I Ron Littlefield, Mayor of the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee,
Do hereby Proclaim that Wednesday, February 27, 2008 shall be known as

“Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day”

Water goes mainstream: two water-related items from the Onion

Onion Radio News’s anchor, Doyle Redland, reports that the beverage redland.pngindustry was “rocked by a new poll” showing that “disease-free water tops the list of world’s favorite beverages.” The astute journalist muses that “many of these people might want potable water for the purpose of adding flavored powders.”

This recent Onion infographic lists the approaches taken by eightgfx_waterman.gif American cities to obtain or conserve water. strongly endorses Atlanta’s move to impose legislation mandating that people be composed of only 45 percent water, but nonetheless recommends that the law be revisited after the drought is over. (The graphic at left shows the current legally-required 75 percent; Atlanta’s mandate would put the water level at mid-pelvis.)

When it rains, etc. Atlanta gets soaked, California gets battered

(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’s editorial staff is pleased to relay the happy news from Atlanta Water Shortage (AWS) that northern Georgia has recently gotten a good soaking, leading to a 5-inch plus rise in Lake Lanier’s level. (Only twenty more feet to go!)’s take:

Downside: Possibly too little, too late for 2008.

Upside: No more shorter showers! (The staff highly recommends that you carefully read the comment thread following the cartoon, to get up to speed on not only Governor Sonny Perdue’s response to the drought, but also such related matters as the liberal junk science being foisted on us by a cabal of leftist intellectuals led by NASA and the evil, anti-American Union of Concerned Scientists, the connection between the California fires and Blackwater, and the liberal control of the media. And no discussion of drought would be complete without weighing the pros and cons of abortion.)

AWS also guides its readers to this site, the best summary of the causes for and prospects of the southeastern drought we’ve seen.

In the meantime, the Pacific Ocean seems to have absentmindedly allowed several massive storms to stack up off the coast of California–the site of’s 579px-parts_of_an_umbrellasvg.pngwestern headquarters–and is now waving them through in rapid succession. We are currently being beaten down by torrential downpours and disoriented by blinding blizzards.’s take:

Downside: flooding, mudslides, widespread power outages, upgrade from dangerous to extremely dangerous driving conditions, and high winds rendering umbrellas totally useless.

Upside: Free sandbags! Oh yes, and a possible reprieve from the severe drought that had been predicted for California this summer.

A holiday special: ten top waterblogs!


(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

Welcome to’s gala holiday special, the really special thing being that we posted at all. Let’s just call our editorial team’s failure to post anything for over a week an intentional and carefully planned holiday hiatus and leave it at that.

And speaking of intention, let’s also point out that we mindfully wrote ten top waterblogs rather than top ten waterblogs, because we decided–with a humility uncharacteristic of other blognescenti–who the hell are we to decide what the top ten waterblogs are, anyway?

Atlanta Water Shortage
We’re sure that the Georgian responsible for AWS would love for nature to visit a gentle death blow to his straightforward chronicle of the Southeast drought, but his post today about the grim long-terms prospects for precipitation in the Southeast suggests that AWS won’t be closing its door for at least another year.

Also focused on the Southeast, WaterCrunch is described by its purveyor as a “not too detailed” look at water issues in the Southeastern United States and beyond. He also notes that it is more shake and bake than gloom and doom, which sounds funny but doesn’t make any sense upon close examination.

Absolutely essential for following the water ways of another water-challenged region, Southern California.

Coyote Gulch’s Colorado Water
An obvious focus on yet another water-anxious area, but it has a humongous list of geeky water resources.

Hydrologist Michael Campana’s blog, subheaded All things fresh water. A service of the Institute for Water and Watersheds at Oregon State University. Michael is a self-described water wonk, a real humanitarian, and, he notes either wryly or ruefully or both, a “frustrated writer and musician.” Aren’t we all, notes, with a healthy dose of wry and rue.

jfleck at inkstain
Though he doesn’t write exclusively or even mostly about water, journalist John Fleck is a self-defined waterblogger, and that’s good enough for us. Besides, he’s totally cool, and we owe him if only for linking to Joe Mathlete’s Marmaduke Explained. And, hey, we can put anyone we want on this list, because it’s our list.

Water for the Ages
It seems that most waterbloggers are nicer and more positive than the acerbic and pessimistic bunch over here at, where the glass of contaminated water is always half-empty. A case in point is Abigail, the creator of Water for the Ages, a fabulous, compassionate, and comprehensive site about global water issues.

Earth scientist Matthew Garcia’s blog is subtitled hydrology and water resources in the news and science media. Essential for the water-obsessed nerds out there.

Shaun McKinnon
Arizona Republic reporter McKinnon’s timely and well-written entries on current water issues. He calls his site Waterblogged, but so does this guy, for some reason not immediately apparent.

Great Lakes Water Wars
A well-researched site that warns us that if it can happen to the Aral Sea, it can happen to the Fab Five. (See our entry on the Aral Lake tragedy here and here.) This is not Peter Annin‘s site, by the way, but that of a concerned but kind of confused Michigan resident. He is, he states, “opposed to pop culture solutions forced on us by the selfish-best-interest political power of the proponents on either side of the debate.” We’re scratching our heads over that one here at, where we’re definitely on one side of the issue but aren’t at all familiar with any pop culture solutions, whatever that means.