With all the news about how much the Glades Reservoir project is going to cost, I have yet to see an explanation of how it adds one drop to our water supply in times of drought, which is the reason given for it being built.
The Times’ headline touts “40 million gallons per day” as if this is additional new water that will be made available in time of drought. The Glades Reservoir will be located in the upper Chattahoochee River drainage basin, which means all of the water that it will hold is presently being held downstream in Lake Lanier. The only time it will hold any additional supply is when we don’t need it, when there is plenty of rain and Lake Lanier is so full it can’t hold another drop.
By definition, when we enter the next drought, water flow into Lake Lanier will fall. Then Lake Lanier’s level will fall, so withholding water from Lake Lanier in Glades Reservoir isn’t an additional water supply; it is simply part of the same supply held in a different place.
In addition, holding back water in Glades Reservoir would cause Lake Lanier levels to fall faster. People forget that Lake Lanier was below 1,057 feet above sea level only a year ago in December 2012. With the Glades Reservoir it would have been worse.
I understand the estimated cost is $130 million and the final cost will be much, much more. I understand Hall County commissioners want to pay for it by imposing a new additional $70 tax per year on all homeowners without giving the citizens a vote. I understand the top foot of water held back from Lake Lanier in 850-acre Glades Reservoir, when released into 38,000-acre Lanier, would raise lake levels about a quarter inch. All the water in Glades probably wouldn’t equal a foot of water in Lake Lanier.
I understand how the Cedar Creek Reservoir can add to our water supply because that is saving water in a new untapped river basin for our use. But how does Glades add any useful capacity?
Robert D. Webb