AVOC.info
Quick-Search:    

Advanced Search


10-15-07 This Drought is serious! - What others in NEGA area are doing and saying

. Barrow County News - 10-10-07 “…..a short time ago - Oct. 18, 2002 - ¬that the Bear Creek Reservoir was dedicated, and it was a dry year when the 505-acre reservoir became a reality after 15 years of "polit¬ical will and perseverance" in a ''painful process involved in getting to this place…..”

AVOC

.

October 13, 2007

.

This Drought is serious!- What others in NEGA area are doing and saying

.

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

.

While many of us have become more aware of the drought in recent weeks, many have been conserving and planning.   The Athens Banner-Herald and the Main Street Newspapers in Jackson County have been very informative in promoting public awareness.   The Barrow County News and the Oconee Newspapers have had some articles.

.

With the current drought, we may be into something we have never experienced before.   We all pray and hope for rain but if it does not come, our communities will have to do something. Water conservation tips are published regularly.At my home, we are on a well but started conserving water weeks ago.

.

The emergency withdrawal that EPD authorized for Bear Creek Reservoir is good for 45 days but would only extend the Bear Creek capacity until about mid-December.At some point the river cannot sustain it.

.

Mayor Davison of Athens-Clarke County has been doing radio spots on conserving water.   Oconee Chairman Melvin Davis was quoted in the October 10, 2007 edition of the Oconee Leader as noting that conservation in Oconee had cut consumption by 30%.That is good.Outdoor watering bans reduce it very much.One wonders if the reduction also takes into account that Oconee stopped selling water to Walton County in late September. See Walton- Oconee Water Agreement of 2002 and 2006 Extension

Walton- Oconee.2002.WaterAgr.2006.Ext.pdfx

.

Oconee can and should maximize its well production.The water shortage is not a passing thing.If the Hard Labor Creek project ever provides any relief, it will be 2014 or later- SEVEN YEARS FROM NOW!   And then only 3.5 MGD!

.

Meanwhile, Oconee County has huge water commitments with all the approved and developing subdivisions.   Many water stub-outs are sitting on vacant lots.   The Housing slowdown may have been a blessing to Oconee County which has already outstripped its water sources with existing commitments.Oconee cannot handle more developments until the drought ends and more water sources are developed by County Leaders.

.

Oconee Water Commitments – vacant houses and lots with stub-outs

.

This Drought is very serious.Water scarcity is not going away anytime soon.   North GA Streams have been stretched to capacity.   That will not change!

.

Bear Creek on Old Savage Road on 10-4-07


10-11-07 This Is Serious -Save Water Where You Can

.

The Commerce News    October 11, 2007           EDITORIALS - Column

http://www.mainstreetnews.com/2007/October/C1010E.html

.

This Is Serious: Save Water Where You Can

.

By Mark Beardsley

.
It’s “Take a Shorter Shower Month,” which is Gov. Sonny Perdue’s drought contingency plan. I’m not quite sure there will be an adequate response locally, and neither are Athens officials, who are starting to talk about rationing water for their 110,000 residents.

.
Rationing water?   How do you do that?

.
Let’s say Ward 4 is not supposed to use any water between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays. How do you enforce that, shy of reading every meter before and after? If you cut water off on the line, when you turn it back on, the water will run red with mud for thousands of gallons, wasting more water than was saved.

.
Basically, if we assume the worst — that we will have a lot less water than we will need through spring — the only feasible way to drastically cut back on water use is for each citizen to do it on his or her own.

.

Yeah, make those showers shorter. Use less water in baths. Bathe less frequently. When you empty the ice from a glass, throw it on your potted plants………….


10-11-07 Water restrictions tighten in Jackson County

.

The Jackson Herald   - October 10, 2007

http://www.mainstreetnews.com/2007/October/J1010A.html

.

Water restrictions tighten
Tuesday showers welcome, but not nearly enough

.
With the regional reservoir projected to run out of water by the end of the year, the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority intends to toughen water restrictions for its 6,600 customers on Thursday.

.
The authority plans to eliminate every exception to the ban on outdoor watering. It meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in the office of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce.

.
Like the rest of the state, Jackson County is at level four in its drought contingency plan — in fact, it was at level four before the Environmental Protection Division put the northern half of the state on its strictest water restrictions. But, declaring a “water emergency,” the authority will further restrict the use of water………….


10-11-07 Area Leaders need to plan for future water needs and drought measures

.

The Barrow County News - October 10, 2007                          EDITORIAL

http://www.barrowcountynews.com/

.

Looking ahead as well as skyward as drought persists

…………

.

"The drought of 2007 has reached historic proportions, so it's critical that we take immediate action to' ensure that Georgians have a suffi­cient supply of safe drinking water," said Couch. “All of the counties included in the level four declaration are located in areas of either exceptional or extreme drought."

.

Since 1999, there has only been two years in this area in which the average rainfall has been on target. There have been signs that the region has been experiencing drought conditions which some predict will be setting the record for a new 100-year drought.

.

While it was only a short time ago - Oct. 18, 2002 - ­that the Bear Creek Reservoir was dedicated, and it was a dry year when the 505-acre reservoir became a reality after 15 years of "polit­ical will and perseverance" in a ''painful process involved in getting to this place."

.

Turf battles and county lines were set aside as four counties came together around a table to solve the water issue of the time.

.

Now, the task is ahead to look for other answers to growing water needs.


9-30-07 Time for action in Water Crisis

.

The Gainesville Times

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20070930/opinion/196592.shtml

.

September 30, 2007     EDITORIAL

.

The Rx for H2O: Strong enforcement needed to make watering ban work

.

The time for action in solving the state's water crisis is long past. Now that we are mired in another serious drought that threatens the future of our water supply, it's time not for caution but for serious measures.

……..

What that means is that the odd-even, every-other-day system we've been under for some time is gone. Also gone is the patchwork of restrictions from one city or county to another. It means no outdoor watering, period. No sprinklers on lawns, no washing the car in the driveway, nothing.

.

And it's long overdue. The watering restrictions in place were hard for local authorities to enforce and confusing to residents. What day is it? Can I water today or not, and for how long? The lack of comprehensive, easy-to-follow guidelines, along with the absence of strictly enforced penalties for violators, meant the restrictions were ignored by many.

.

Anyway, brown lawns should be the least of our concerns. Having clean water pour from our taps for drinking, bathing and cooking is a much higher priority, one we should no longer take for granted.

.

Sure, we've rebounded from droughts before. The rains have returned, the lakes and rivers have refilled, and we've gone about our merry way convinced that the panic was all for naught.

.

But we may be well past that. Consider a few sobering facts:

.

- Lake Lanier is now down 12 feet from full pool of 1,071 feet. The Corps predicts it will drop to 1,054 feet by mid-October, some 17 feet below full pool, and is threatening to reach its all-time low of 1,052 feet set in 1981.

.

In fact, the EPD predicts the lake could drop as low as 1,039 feet by year's end, a full 32 feet below full pool and close to or below many water intake pipes.

.

- It would take several months of above-average rainfall to put a dent in our yearly deficit of 15 inches. Yet forecasters say dry weather should continue through autumn and into 2008.

…………..

Runaway growth means more houses and businesses slurping up more water when less is available.

…………

Yes, it's time to clamp down. Long since past. And to consider measures we haven't dared think about before. …..


10-13-07 Water Headlines around North Georgia

.

The Gainesville Times    October 13, 2007

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20071013/localnews/197528.shtml

.

Water supply is dwindling

Lanier falls 1 1/2 feet per week

.

By ASHLEY FIELDING

.

In as little as three months, Gainesville might miss the water because the well will really run dry if there is no rain.

……..

.

Gee said Lake Lanier's level is dropping about a foot-and-a-half every week, and it will drop faster if there is no rain. Because the lake is cylindrical, its footprint gets smaller as the water level drops, Gee said. What that means is that the more the lake level drops, the faster it disappears.

.

When Lanier reaches 1,035 feet above sea level, no water can be released from Buford Dam and no water will flow down the Chattahoochee River. It's currently at 1,057.71 feet, some 13 feet below full pool.

.

To try and keep Lake Lanier from reaching that dangerous level anytime soon, state and local officials are doing what they can to hold on to the water in Lanier for as long as they can.

.

Dr. Carol Couch, head of the state's Environmental Protection Division, is working on a plan that will cut out some of the exemptions for the Level Four Drought status. …….

.

The new policy also may end exemptions for those pulling water directly from the lake or from a well system……………..


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution        October 13, 2007

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/printedition/2007/10/13/watergov1013b.html

.

Perdue draws line on Lanier

.

By Stacy Shelton

.

Corps wants more: As state threatens suit to limit releases of water, feds plan to open the drain even wider from Lake Lanier to Florida, the Corps instead declared it would increase the flow, draining the lake even faster during a record-breaking drought.

.

Gov. Sonny Perdue on Friday issued an ultimatum to the agency that operates Lanier, metro Atlanta's main water source. If the Corps does not respond to Georgia's satisfaction by Wednesday, the state will take action —- possibly suing the agency for the second time since June 2006.

.

The controversy escalated the wrangle among Georgia, Florida and Alabama —- known as the tristate water wars —- that has choked federal court dockets for 17 years over who gets water from the 50-year-old man-made lake and the Chattahoochee River. Metro Atlanta needs the water to continue its breakneck growth and development, Alabama for its industries, a nuclear power plant and agriculture, and Florida to protect its marine and wetlands ecosystems and oyster industry.

……….


The Athens Banner-Herald       October 13, 2007

http://onlineathens.com/stories/101307/news_20071013070.shtml

.

Plan on drought a model

Rationing next?

.

By Blake Aued

.

All of Georgia might eventually have to ration water if the drought doesn't improve, and Athens-Clarke County's emergency plan could serve as a model for the rest of the state, a top environmental official said Friday.

.

Georgia may need to prioritize water use - first for drinking and sanitation, then agriculture, then business and industry - "in the most extreme circumstances," Carol Couch, director of the state Environmental Protection Division, told a group of rural state legislators Friday at the University of Georgia.

.

Athens-Clarke County will be the first local government to plan for rationing if the drought becomes so extreme that current conservation measures aren't saving enough water, Couch said. County water officials are scheduled to present a plan to the Athens-Clarke Commission on Oct. 25.

.

"It does address, as I understand it, rationing," Couch said. "I believe you are headed in that direction."

If the drought worsens in other parts of the state, those regions can use the Athens plan as a model for tighter restrictions, she said…………………


10-7-07 Bear Creek Reservoir update in AJC

.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution        October 7, 2007

http://www.ajc.com/printedition/content/printedition/2007/10/06/water1006.html

.

More treatment for drinking water

.

By Nancy Badertscher

.

If the drought continues, the reservoir that provides drinking water to Jackson, Clarke and two other counties northeast of Atlanta could be at a record low by Christmas and could end up pumping safe, but discolored water to its customers.

.

Water levels at the Bear Creek Reservoir have dropped 13.8 feet and, without a significant change in the weather, are forecast to fall another 18 feet by Dec. 28, said manager Kevin Williams.

.

Pumping from such low levels will require more treatment of the water to extract iron and other substances, Williams said.

.

The water will be safe to drink, he said.

.

"It will just be an aesthetic issue. If we don't remove it all, customers may see a little color in their water," Williams said.

.

He said the reservoir's current levels are about what they were when facility opened in 2002 during another drought.

.

The reservoir, which serves Barrow, Oconee, Jackson and Clarke counties, has obtained a state permit to withdraw more water from the Middle Oconee River until the drought subsides.

.

Conservation measures also are helping, Williams said.


10-8-07 What about record drought do local officials not understand?

.

The Athens Banner-Herald   - October 8, 2007    LETTER TO EDITOR

http://onlineathens.com/stories/100807/letters_20071008004.shtml

.

Now, not later, is the time for tough action on water

.

After reading the Athens Banner-Herald's Thursday story headlined "Water supply could be drained by Christmas," concerning the Athens-Clarke County government's deliberations about drought conditions and water-use restrictions, I was struck by what always has seemed to bedevil elected officials and bureaucratic institutions - the absence of decisiveness and paralysis of process versus the dynamics of action toward results. …….

.

From Thursday, the government has allowed itself seven weeks to come to some decision on water rationing. How absurd! We ought to be implementing policies at this moment to conserve water that err on the side of overreaction rather than taking a leisurely, wait-and-see-what-happens (Is it going to rain?) approach.

.

………. "What is it that we don't understand about the longest drought period in recent history? ... What don't we understand about a reservoir about to run dry? ... What is it we don't understand about the near-term forecast for no significant rain?"

.

The reason the community is confused and some are not getting the message is that government action is inconsistent with the dire water shortage situation. When the risk to the water supply is all downside, three weeks to forward a plan and then a month to enact recommendations is not what we should expect.


Quick-Search: