The Chattahoochee River has been named to the Georgia Water Coalition’s “Dirty Dozen” list for 2013, which highlights the worst offenses to Georgia’s waterways.
Joe Cook, Riverkeeper and executive director of the Coosa River Basin Project said, “It’s a list of problems that exemplify the results of inadequate funding for environmental protections, lack of political will to enforce environmental laws and ultimately misguided water planning and spending priorities that flow from the very top of Georgia’s leadership.”
The report criticizes Hall County’s planned Glades Reservoir and local poultry plants for endangering Georgia water and polluting the environment.
The coalition named its “Dirty Dozen” for 2013, and the annual list included the Chattahoochee River and Flat Creek, two Northeast Georgia water sources that flow into in Lake Lanier.
The Georgia Water Coalition is a group of more than 200 organizations the mission of which is to protect and care for the state’s waterways.
The planned 850-acre Glades Reservoir would pipe water from the Chattahoochee above Lake Lanier, a federal reservoir managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lanier has been at the heart of the tri-state water wars with Florida and Alabama because it’s a crucial drinking water source for Atlanta. However, communities south of the growing metropolis , including Troup County, complain there’s not enough water flowing downstream for residents, businesses and wildlife.
The report chastises Gov. Nathan Deal and his administration for “spending millions on reservoir schemes to circumvent federal control of the river systems” by changing the criteria of the Governor’s Water Supply Program so the state has more control directing water flows.
Sally Bethea, executive director of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, said she doesn’t think the changes to the state investment program will help resolve the dispute with the other two states that’s dragged on for decades.
“Rather, it’s going to inflame it further,” Bethea said. “I don’t think there are any assurances that these new reservoirs would be sending more water all the way downstream to the other states.”
2013 Dirty Dozen
1. Floridan Aquifer: Water Injection Schemes Gamble with South Georgia’s Pristine Underground “Lake”
2. Chattahoochee and Etowah Rivers: Governor’s Water Supply Program Wastes Tax Dollars & Incites More Water Conflicts with Neighbors
3. Flint River: Pumps, Dams, Diversions & State Water Policy Create Man-Made Drought
4. Altamaha River: Pulp Mill in Jesup Continues to Foul Georgia’s Largest River
5. Flat Creek: Polluted Runoff in Chicken Capital Sends Bacteria to Stream Feeding Lake Lanier
6. Ocmulgee River: Coal Ash Threatens Waterways and Communities In the Home of Fried Green Tomatoes
7. Satilla River: Toxic Legacy in Waycross Needs Further Investigations, Cleanups
8. Savannah River: Massive Water Withdrawals for Nuclear, Coal-Fired Power Plants Threaten River’s Health, Drinking Water
9. Lake Alice: Dam Breach Disaster in Cumming Highlights Need for Better Dam Safety
10. Georgia Coast: Proposed Changes to Coastline Laws Roll Back Long-Standing Protections
11. Hurricane Creek: Illegal Playground for Off-Road Vehicles Sends Mountains of Sediment to Trout Stream
12. Oconee and Ogeechee Rivers: Dirty Coal-Fired Power Plant to Spew Mercury and Deplete South Georgia Rivers