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Cost/Benefit and the Contingency Task Force: Real Costs, Real Benefits

December 3, 2009

Yesterday’s story by Rob Pavey in the Augusta Chronicle delves into the question of what’s realistic, and what’s not, in the material presented just before Thanksgiving to Gov. Perdue’s Water Contingency Task Force. As any reasonably cost-minded person would, Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley admitted that many of the engineering solutions shown to the task force are very, very expensive. Still, though, Brantley stuck to the message in the Governor’s office by downplaying yet again the water savings available to Metro Atlanta through efficiency and conservation. “The cheapest gallon is the gallon you save, but that only gets you so far,” he told Pavey.

“Only so far” is actually pretty dang far according to the numbers that the Georgia Water Coalition provided to the consultants who are giving information to the task force: 130 to 210 million gallons a day, as opposed to the 35 MGD figure cited in last week’s presentation to the task force (note: large file, but worth a look). 

Discussing costs and benefits is more than appropriate right now, but discussing real costs and real benefits is, too.

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