Lt. Governor outlines drought relief proposals - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lt. Governor outlines drought relief proposals

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November 6, 2007

Moultrie -- Governor Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that the state will drop its lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Perdue says he's pleased the Corps of Engineers is recommending a reduction in the amount of water released from Georgia's federal reservoirs.

But this proposal hasn't stopped lawmakers from looking ahead to find solutions to the current water issues and prevent future problems.

"We have some outside challenges, and those challenges are Alabama and Florida. They want more of the water than we feel they're entitled to, and we're going to fight them on a stage that we feel we can win on," said Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.

With no drought relief in sight, Georgia's battle with Florida and Alabama over water resources is turning into crisis. 

Speaking in Moultrie, Cagle outlined upcoming initiatives to protect one of Georgia's most valuable, but limited resources.

He said, "That's why we are going to pass the statewide water management plan that ensures that a framework is going to be in place."

Farmers, homeowners, and business owners are all feeling the repercussions of the ongoing drought. And while keeping water in Georgia has been half the battle, conserving the water we have is a top priority.

"We need to do a better job of making sure that we store in reservoirs capacity what meets the need that will hedge against any kinds of drought conditions," said Cagle.

Along with Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, Cagle has introduced the Reservoir Development and Protection Relief Act for the '08 legislative session. The act would ensure additional sources of water during times of drought.

"We believe we can streamline the process to allow existing reservoirs that have the ability to increase the dams to create more storage capacity."

While essential rainfall would provide necessary relief, the likely solution to the water crisis could come down to Georgia's lawmakers under the gold dome.

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