I’m getting so ticked off by the corps’ response to the endangered species act this year compared to 2006, which also was tortured with drought and mismanagement of Lake Lanier. The water releases then were not as severe as this year. I guess our 2006 congressional powwow here in Gainesville ruffled their feathers.
As of the first week of November, they have increased the amount of water released as our governor decided to drop the state’s lawsuit against them. Last year in October, the corps released 38,014 cubic feet per second from Lanier; this year’s count was 59,177 cfs. We started November with a 1,055.46-foot pool, and seven days later it was at 1,054.55.
The last time Lanier was at full pool was in 2005, thanks in part to hurricane activity. Since the last two hurricane seasons have not affected the Gulf Coast, it has plunged the Southeast into a severe drought. That’s good for the Florida Panhandle, but bad for the Southern interior. Poor Texas and the central interior took the brunt of the rains.
Lanier’s full pool number is 1,071 feet above sea level, but in 2007 our max level was 1,068.44 for a brief period in April. We’re at 1,054.55 now, and the corps is still pulling the plug at the dam.
Something has to happen soon to stop the flow and let us recoup. Florida and Alabama have not suffered in this. They’ve not been on water restrictions, and we’ve been on them for two years.
The corps says it’s just doing the job mandated by courts. OK Sonny, let’s get the courts to stick it to them and halt the mismanagement of Lake Lanier. Since we’re the top of the water chain fed by one of the smallest watersheds, let’s keep the pressure up. And you naysayers quit blaming our growth up here. Coastal Florida and Alabama are building like rabbits multiply.
It’s past time to get realistic and start building a better water plan for Georgia. It’s time for all the talking to stop and actions to become reality. It’s time for the environmental groups to stop blocking reservoirs from being built. It shouldn’t take 11 years to build them, as it has for Cherokee County. Now Alabama is taking legal action to block it from coming on-line. Enough already!
It’s time for Florida and Alabama to adjust and restrict their ways of squandering our waters. They’re coastal and can build desalination plants to fill their reservoirs and create a flow for their mussels and oyster business. It shouldn’t be our responsibility to do it.
The tri-state water war has to come to an end or Sonny and the Georgia National Guard need to take over the dam, declare a state of emergency and confiscate it.