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In the summer of 2007, unprecedented drought conditions brought the city of Atlanta, Georgia, within weeks of running out of water. Most of Atlanta’s water comes from Lake Lanier, a reservoir that the Army Corps of Engineers created by damming the Chattahoochee River. With Lake Lanier drying up from lack of rainfall, Georgia petitioned the Corps, which manages the dam, to reduce the amount of water released downstream. The Corps refused, citing its obligation under The Endangered Species Act to protect the habitats of a species of a fish and two species of mussel. Objections were also raised by Alabama and Florida, where hundreds of towns, recreational facilities, and power plants depend on the water released downstream. Some people thought that Atlanta authorities had brought the water shortage on themselves by allowing developers to build without considering whether adequate water was available. Florida also argued that reduction of freshwater inflows would harm its oyster fisheries.
How would you prioritize the competing claims on the water from Lake Lanier? Who should allocate scarce water resources? How can cities and states plan more wisely for future shortages?
Essay On Water Resources
Length: 2 pages (565 Words)
Lake Lanier is a man made water reservoir on the Chattahoochee River in the state of Georgia. River Chattahoochee is a river that traverses Georgia, Florida and Alabama. This river provides water to three states namely; Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. There has been a conflict known as the tri-state water dispute that has been running since the construction of the Lanier Lake by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Buford dam which impounds the Lake was constructed in the year 1938. The aim of the Army Corps of Engineers was to create a number of hydro-power projects. The dam would also reduce flooding downstream, and allow for easy navigation on the waterways of Georgia. However, the construction of the dam reduced the water flow downstream and therefore the states of Alabama and Florida experienced an acute water shortage. The two states filled a legal suit against Georgia later on.