As we get ready for the legislative session, we'll recap a few issues that came up last year as relevant news and ideas get floated out. Despite all of our rain, water supply is a key issue for Georgia and our region. The Governor's Water Task Force issued its recommendations in December, and there aren't a lot of quick fixes for the problem. A mix of conservation and new supply is going to be necessary, but building reservoirs isn't a quick proposition, and finding funds for new ones isn't easy either.
One of the ideas that gets the most controversy is the potential to use some water from the Tennessee River. Some consider it politically explosive, a generally poor idea, implausible, or environmentally irresponsible. A lot of these people happen to live in Tennessee.
However, I'm willing to bet that most people who comment on the issue have no idea how much water flows through the Tennessee River on a daily basis, and how much of it actually comes from Georgia's mountains. The excess water from our recent rain (45 billion gallons) flowing past Chattanooga each day is equal to how much water Atlanta uses from Lake Lanier in six months. More fun facts in this story.