South Georgians speak out about water allocation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgians speak out about water allocation

October 1, 2002

Albany- The water might not be at normal levels, but the discussion about it is overflowing. Representatives from the South West Georgia Task Force held an open forum to discuss the allocation of water and how to manage this precious resource during a drought.

"We need to make those decisions about what's really important. Is is the greenest grass in the neighborhood or is it having water for drinking and so on, so the awareness is really important. Should you be panic stricken? Absolutely not," says Apalachicola-Chattahoochee Flint Compact Negotiator Robert Kerr.

But many people who called with questions are worried that the population boom in Atlanta will decrease the amount of water South Georgia has access to.

"They are already against the limits of their water usage. They've even said they may be out for further development by the year 2030, so Atlanta is going to have to find some different sources and that makes everybody nervous when Atlanta starts looking around for something different," adds Mitchell County farmer Murray Campbell.

Others had questions about farmers using irrigation systems, when they can't run their own home sprinkling systems.

"The difference between a homeowner who can't water their lawn as much as they like to do and a farmer who can't irrigate, there's a big difference. That homeowner is not going to lose their house if they can't water their lawn, but a farmer could lose his farm if he can't irrigate his crops," says Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division Harold Reheis.

The task force addressed as a many questions as they could, but as long as the state stays dry, the issues will keep flowing.

Albany gets an average of 52 inches of rain a year, but we haven't reached that amount in a calendar year since 1998.

Posted at 10:00 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com