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The Water Bill Makes a Splash

February 8, 2010

Newspapers around the state have definitely taken notice of the governor’s water conservation bill, introduced late last week. A Saturday Savannah Morning News editorial praised the bill and focused particularly on the political dimensions of the statehouse’s proposal to embrace conservation and efficiency. “Besides the in-state benefit of conserving a precious natural resource, the Peach State must be seen as taking concrete steps to rein in its water use in order to build goodwill in the tri-state negotiations,” the editors wrote. This begs the question, actually, of what Florida and Alabama think of the bill – in their eyes, does it go far enough?

A Brunswick News story today points out that the state’s environmentalists, while pleased to see the bill, will watch it closely to make sure it does the job it needs to do. The article also, however, reveals a “two Georgias”-type divide on the issue of conservation and efficiency, with a former Glynn County commissioner, fearful of mandates, arguing that non-metro areas of the state shouldn’t have to conserve water in order to help Atlanta. A more farsighted vision would probably take note that sustainable water use as a general principle makes sense throughout Georgia all the time, even if demand reduction is a “must” for metro in the wake of the Magnuson ruling.

Meanwhile in other in-state news, a Sunday guest column in the Daily Tribune News of Cartersville featured Coosa Riverkeeper Joe Cook highlighting the “No Water Grabs” petition, aimed at stopping interbasin transfers in Georgia. What the current legislative session holds for this water policy topic is still an unknown, but Cook points out that some legislators are expected to introduce anti-IBT legislation soon.

-Ben Emanuel

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