Friday, October 19, 2007

On droughts and mussels

Ok, we have hit the point where one has to live under a rock to not have heard about the drought in the Southeast. It is a real problem. But there are a few things that don't seem to be getting the play that they should.

  • The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Lake Lanier in order to "preserve" a pair of specific species of mussel that lives in the Apalachiacola River delta in Florida.
  • Alabama doesn't even have a mechanism in place for statewide water restrictions... much less an implementation of water restrictions. GA has been under restrictions for most of the last several years.
  • The Army CoE "accidentally" released an extra 22 billion gallons of water due to a faulty gauge this past spring. That is enough to provide the Atlanta metro with water for a month and a half.
  • If there wasn't a dam on the Chattahoochee River, there would be about half as much water flowing south.
  • The largest water consumers in the area are a Pepsi Gatorade plant and a Coca-Cola syrup plant.
What it seems to be coming down to is that a species of mussel is more important to the Army CoE than the people they are supposed to be serving. Lake Lanier was formed by the Corps to serve the water needs of PEOPLE in the region. But, now those needs are secondary to a mussel that would be facing survival issues if the dam weren't in place. Furthermore, if Atlanta and north GA have to live under water restrictions, areas downstream that rely on the same source should also be under the same restrictions.


Thesa Chambers | Broker | Sunriver Realty said...

I saw this on the news here in Oregon tonight and thought... oh my gosh - with the fires GA had this year - and the droughts you have seen - my dad (well one of my step dads) lives in GA and it amazed me.... it appeared from the news here that it could cause problems with the necular plant down stream - what are they thinking?

Lane Bailey said...

The power plant downstream isn't nuclear, but a small coal plant. Oddly, the same people that want more flow would love to shut down the plant.