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Thursday Water Roundup

March 4, 2010

Gov. Perdue’s Georgia Water Stewardship Act has been in the headlines again this week for having made a big step forward and winning unanimous passage from the House Natural Resources Committee. Those headlines (see the AJC and the Macon Telegraph) focus mainly on the bill’s role in neighborliness with Florida and Alabama in the tri-state water war. Of course, the bill also contains good-sense water efficiency provisions that will move Georgia toward more sustainable water use, water war or no. (Speaking of which, the bill now includes Rep. Debbie Buckner’s proposed outdoor watering schedule, as the AJC points out.) All in all, good news that this bill is moving forward.

In other Gold Dome news, the budget-patching raid on GEFA’s Georgia Fund for small communities’ water and sewer improvements appears to be progressing – or at least being explored – without a legislative okay. Maybe the thinking is to get a quote from Wall Street and hope that number is high enough to entice legislators into going along with the sale? Opposition persists…

Lastly, an update in the “customer-finding” chapter of the Glades Reservoir saga: the Gainesville Times reports that Hall County officials and their consultants have made a pitch to DeKalb County for Glades water too. But doesn’t it seem strange for one county to line up letters of intent from other counties in order to demonstrate demand for a new reservoir, when the first county’s explicit plan is to provide water to the other counties only temporarily? True demand is always a question with any new reservoir proposal, but the Glades situation – which echoes that at Hard Labor Creek in Walton County (where Gwinnett is getting the sales pitch) – displays a new dimension to the issue.

-Ben Emanuel

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