Friday, November 16, 2007

River Wars will impact Two Egg

I usually stay away from political issues here, but I want to weigh in on the current debate that is swirling about the use of water from the Chattahoochee River. The outcome will affect our area and I encourage you to educate yourself and voice your opinion at well.

The low water conditions that prevail throughout the South right now are putting a major strain on Lake Lanier, the upper most of the lakes on the Chattahoochee River. Lanier is a major source of water for the city of Atlanta, but also is the primary source for water coming down the Chattahoochee to Lake Seminole.

At issue is whether more water should be held back at Lanier for the use of Atlanta. This, of course, would mean lower water levels for the entire rest of the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola system. In other words, the rest of us.

Since many lakes and ponds in east Jackson County rise and fall with the water level of Lake Seminole, a lowering of water levels in the lake will translate to even more dry conditions in an already dry area. In addition, low water levels in Lake Seminole and on the Apalachicola River will mean reduced and more dangerous recreational opportunities. The lake is a major economic engine for the Sneads area. Lowering the Apalachicola River, another obvious effect of holding back water at Lanier, would mean reduced flow going into Apalachicola Bay, home of one of the finest oyster fisheries in the world.

It now looks as if the U.S. government is leaning in favor of holding back the water. I strongly oppose doing so. The wants and economic needs of Atlanta should not outweigh those of the entire rest of the river system. The river water has been maintained according to its current formula for many years. There should be no changes unless all three states impacted (Florida, Alabama and Georgia) agree.

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