Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

ATLman1

Water Troubles

14 posts in this topic

How will the water shortage effect Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia's two fastest growing metros?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


How will the water shortage effect Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia's two fastest growing metros?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How will the water shortage effect Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia's two fastest growing metros?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My hope is that this cloud has a silver lining -- though, like the possibility of rain, it may be a long way off. If this crisis finally gets the attention of the General Assembly and results in a long-range water policy, then we will eventually be better off for it.

I believe that it was the mayor of Augusta who very wisely said that the state must stop pursuing a policy of bringing natural resources to where development wants to go (ATLANTA/N Ga)and start brining development to where the natural resources already are. If that policy is instituted, the unbridled sprawl of Atlanta will slowand the second tier cities like Columbus, Macon, Augusta, Rome,Albany, etc would benefit.

Of all of those, probably Columbus has the most to win or lose, since it (along with La Grange) is downstream and suffers from the water consumption resulting from Atlanta growth. Hanging in the immediate balance is the whitewater project and the development of DT Columbus/PC. Potentially affected is future investment which depends on a plentiful/reliable source of water. Several years ago, Columbus was the US finalist for a AMD chip plant valued in the billions with several thousand high paying jobs. The deciding factor in choice of Columbus over other US sites was the availability of water. The plant eventually went to Singapore, but there was (at least until now) the possibility that the plant would be built in Columbus at the time of future AMD expansion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Good News for Columbus. WRBL the local CBS affiliate in Columbus did a report today with officials from the water department and said because of Columbus' location on the Chattahochee River as opposed to Atlanta the city is not in danger of any water shortages. They said rather than a level 4 drought alert Columbus should actually be on a level 2. Which would greatly reduce the restrictions. However Atlanta is not so lucky due to 4.5 million people in the metro and the lack in number of lakes and such that feed through North Georgia. As the river comes south it picks up more water from streams and other small water bodies which give Columbus a much much more abundant supply of water than Metro Atlanta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Macon has plenty of water. Approx. 6 Billion Gallons in our resevior. Our water surplus has been a good selling point for new businesses relocating to the Macon Area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atlanta is just going to have to cut its water consumption, thats really all there is to it. You can't force rain to happen. Though this does open up the debate for how Atlanta should meet its future water needs even without a drought. There is going to be a point when Atlanta will just need more water, period. Even without drought conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully, Georgians will use this as an opportunity to manage growth. Governor Purdue's response to a question regarding his late response to the drought is indicative of many politicos attitude toward environmental science - "I didn't want to cry wolf." Despite scientists, environmentalists and planners issuing warnings about the potential for dire consequences from ignoring growth management issues, most (primarily suburban) Georgia counties have opted to not plan adequately for growth. Harris County, north of Columbus along the Chattahoochee, for example, implemented a 2-acre minimum lot size for new homes. The commissioners did this as a stated stop-gap measure to slow growth to allow time to put in a growth managment plan. Instead, the leadership used the measure to force higher land and home values to exclude lower income and homebuyers.

The county has also re-buffed efforts of developers to install package wastewater management facilities which provide for water re-use for things like irrigation. Instead, the county has stagnated on policies that prevent natural growth economics to prevail. Therefore, the county, though geographically a suburban area, grows like a rural or exurban county. Thus the county has struggled to develop a commercial tax base. The economics of which will eventually lead the county to financially implode as its population ages. But back to the drought.

In the last 10 years the county has added almost 3,300 septic-tank households that use 7-times as much water as a home on an integrated sewerage system. Add to that the additional water used to irrigate XXL yards, the county residents place an excessive burden on the environment's water resources. This same scenario is repeated in other Georgia (and Alabama, for that matter) counties like Henry, Paulding and others.

If Georgia doesn't get its act together, and acknowledge that water, air and growth issues are borderless. There's plenty of blame to go around for Georgia's poor growth managment, so the powers that be might just agree to move on to solutions... we can only hope.

That's my soap box for the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Well Good News for Columbus. WRBL the local CBS affiliate in Columbus did a report today with officials from the water department and said because of Columbus' location on the Chattahochee River as opposed to Atlanta the city is not in danger of any water shortages. They said rather than a level 4 drought alert Columbus should actually be on a level 2. Which would greatly reduce the restrictions. However Atlanta is not so lucky due to 4.5 million people in the metro and the lack in number of lakes and such that feed through North Georgia. As the river comes south it picks up more water from streams and other small water bodies which give Columbus a much much more abundant supply of water than Metro Atlanta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the Columbus Water Works is extending service to the Hwy 316/Mulberry Grove area and that proposed The Grove development will tie into it. Also believe that the CWW is extending service to Talbot County. Am not sure about water supply for the new business park in the northern part of Harris -- maybe tap into West Pt or LaGrange systems? At any rate, the surrounding counties are being gradually reoriented towards a regional model. There is currently ongoing land use coordination and the Valley Partnership includes West Point, Manchester and PC. l

I understood that there was a distinction between ground water (ie, wells) and surface water (ie, rivers/reservoirs). The drought affected ground water insofar as the water table is concerned -- but that, like oil, the water could still be tapped with deeper (more expensive) wells. Unlike surface water -- which is in finiite supply. If so, then water may be more accessible (tho at a higher cost) in the rural areas like Harris than the urban areas like Columbus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two towns in GA are now using a market approach to water rates. Water rates often are scaled so that the more water is used, the less it costs... not exactly a structure to discourage waste. Scaling rates so that they increase with higher usage would help reduce unnecessary usage. CWW should use a similar approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm a meteorologist and am definetly concerned with Atlanta Metro's water issues. Last year served as a wkae up call, you must control you development(sprawl), make mandatory, permanent water restrictions on lawn watering, which was the biggest cause of water loss, and other wasteful usage. Lastly, the supply, come on, 2 resevoirs for 5 million people, it is not logically possible, and from research, its actually surprising this didn't happen sooner. Below average rainfall brought this drought, and the drought brought these problems, long track data has seen cycles like this, it just hit harder due to population. This is somewhat of a blessing, it shows the need for better planning, controlling sprawl, and wasteful use cutting. If this winter and spring does not prove wet, you have not seen anything yet. From research that many have done, Atlanta will have a very desperate situation, to the point where they will have to purchase from sources that are low themselves, only snowballing the problem. It could get to the point of rationing, which does not seem to far off if the current scenario plays out. All the Metro counties have got to cooperate with each other in order to maintain a steady, consistent supply of water for the population to have. I encourage all to invest in low-flow appliances, toilets, showers, etc. Smart, small steps like these, can save much more, and lawns in summer really only need to be watered 2 times per week. If you have irrigation, do this, and water in hours between sunset and sunrise, to reduce evaporation. Also, make sure the sprinkler heads and such are actually watering plants and grass, not sidewalks, driveways, and streets, as is way too common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thought. I think that the total evaporation from those ponds is probably pretty miniscule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting thought. I think that the total evaporation from those ponds is probably pretty miniscule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.