Atlanta Water Shortage

Real Estate Agent

Very, very, very concerning article today in our Atlanta Jounal Constitution about how the metropolitan area and the rest of North Georgia rely very heavily on Lake Sidney Lanier and the Chattahoochee River as its primary water source.  In the midst of a 100-year drought, I am prompted to write this because as I was arriving home last night a neighbor was washing his car in the driveway.  I'm not out for a rant, but needless to say, it really ticked me off.

The magnitude of our water shortage is such that if the water level at Lake Lanier drops ANOTHER 20 feet, the level will be BELOW the level at which water can flow through the dam and into the river.  I'm not sure a lot of folks in this city grasp the drastic implications that this would have on essentially half of an entire state.  The river would be a ribbon of mud.

Please abide by all mandated water restrictions imposed by the state, county and city authorities.  Literally, our very livlihood may depend on it.

Jo-Anne Smith
Oakville, ON

Bruce, This appears to be a widespread phenomenon right now.....we are in the midst of the lowest water levels here in southern Ontario, Canada too.


Oct 11, 2007 03:18 AM
Carl Martens
Geneva, IL
Agreed.  I saw a report about this on the news and the analysis they had the current rate Atlanta will not have water in one year.  It seems that if this were the case that there would be heavier restrictions currently, however...then again...our government isn't always the quickest to act on things that REALLY know...concentrating on our own country.
Oct 11, 2007 03:24 AM
Jim Forbes
I read the AJC article this morning and got the feeling that nobody saw it coming. Nobody should be surprised by what is going on now.  No planning and uncontrolled growth. We are only 4-5 years out of the last droughta and have add at least 3/4 of a million people.  It's past time to start saying no to developement until we come up with a water system that matches the demand. What we are seeing is not all drought. As far as the guy washing his car, turn him in. 
Oct 11, 2007 09:36 AM
Bruce Whitehouse
Tucson Az is thinking about having us drink treated effluent. YUM.........  yet they keep building and hoping for more people to move here. Amazing.
Oct 12, 2007 08:49 AM
John Dean


Wake up, people!!!!  No water, no life.  It's that simple.  When we take more than we give back, we WILL pay the ultimate price.  (You in the Atlanta area are staged to be the country's poster children for this issue.) WHEN this happens, even those with all the money and recources will not be able to buy their water or food.  Start by turning OFF the tap while brushing your teeth!!!!  And to be honest, no one cares if your lawn is greener than everyone else's in town.  Turn off your sprinkler system and deal with brown grass.  It will come back ..... when it rains!  

John D. 

Oct 18, 2007 04:25 AM
Deedra Ludwig

I am not surprised to read of these water management issues. Since the 1950's Atlanta has been in a growth pattern of uncontrolled development. Little or no urban planning is in place and developers continue to build McMansion 6 and 7 bedroom homes straining the resources of the area. Drought, yes but too many people are using a limited amount of water supply. Measures such as desalinization are essential for long term water protection. Households need to install low flush toilets and measured water on timer faucets in all public areas. The hospitality industry really needs to step up and address the use of water in hotels and restaurants. Gray water systems are perfect for gardens. It is also essential to learn some simple but dynamic procedures such as native plant landscapes which are drought resistant. Rain catch barrels are also helpful for the home garden. Business as usual no longer works......

Oct 23, 2007 01:58 PM
don q
I have for years had the idea to harness the free floating ice burgs that are relased daily from at least the northern ice cap.This frozen water is the purest on earth, never exposed to pollution, centuries old. My idea is when an ice burg is pushed into the open water it be covered in a large sectional plastic bag, once that is secure, the salt water would be pumped out, and you would more or less have a vacuumed sealed bag of fresh water. Ice, or water weigh the same, a tug could haul many, 10 ,or more of these large ice burgs effortlessly south, say to California, or New York. At this location the ice would melt, trapped in the plastic bag, it could then be moored off shore and pumped to be used by the costal cities, reliving the demand of water to the large costal cities, leaving more water to stay inland, to area's like Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona etc.
Oct 26, 2007 11:50 AM
Bill Sowder
Somebody had better be thinking outside the box. Not too sure our powers that be will
act soon enough. The AJC has a very large responsibility to communicate the seriousness.

Oct 30, 2007 02:13 PM
I know it's expensive, but take some of the money used for the war and build desalitnation plants,
Nov 04, 2007 03:03 AM
In my town we have water rights issues with neighboring communities and my position is develop and use resources within your means without harming the environment. Water is a lot like money, you only have so much and no body else wants to give up their portion. Conserve and use wisely or die.
Nov 13, 2007 10:56 AM

I fear the worse is to come, as mentioned before, Atlanta will serve as a poster child...just like Katrina. WE can continue to live your lives as usual, trusting in government, to maintain the best interest of the AMERICAN people. Just like the folks of New Orleans and surrounding area.

 Critical thinking is not something the masses of AMERICANS are trained to do.

My question is this...I lived in Atlanta the first 9 months of this year. I learned while I was there that the sewer systems were being completely redone. the Transit system has been updated to handle the growth, how is it possible the city of Atlanta considered the growth in these instances, but did not think about the water.

With 911, came the war on terror. Cause and Effect. What will come of this..NO WATER, millions of people...sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.

 I moved my family back north when i heard the reports in late October. I have been watching and waiting for some aggressive actions...and I am not talk about standing on the capital stairs and praying. (Trust me I love and fear the LORD, but I believe we should create solutions-and pray to there success-not sit around and pray for miracles).

Anyways, I found a really good article the LA Times wrote...its been a minute since a read it, but I believe it said that within the next ten years 36 states will be facing a water shortage. 

People, Life in America will change dramatically. WAKE UP


Dec 27, 2007 02:38 AM
Andrea Paulinelli, ecoTransitions

Why do people need incentives to conserve our MOST important resource, isn't the luxury of a daily shower incentive enough?

I really just don't get it. I learn that people are only willing to do anything if they see a financial incentive right away. It is extremely difficult to convince a homeowner to invest $300-$400 in a High Efficiency Toilet, that could save a family of 4 up to 18099 gallons a year, simply by replacing a 3.5 gpf (gallons per flush) toilet and up to 4629 gallons by replacing a modern 1.6 gpf toilet with a Dual flush model. Wouldn't it be worth skipping a restaurant visit every now and then to ensure that our kids have enough, affordable drinking water in the future? Also in Dekalb County, GA Real estate agents oppose the idea of legislation to make new toilets mandatory in pre-1993 buildings by the time of sale, contending it would reduce the incentive to sell and therefore hurt their business. WHAT IS WRONG HERE? What needs to happen for people to realize that our resources are not endless and that we can't drink MONEY?

Jan 12, 2008 11:04 AM