Opposition is fierce for a proposed reservoir upstream of Lake Lanier on Flat Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River, a new front for the “water wars” that have raged for 20 years.
“Glades Reservoir involves building a dam to create an amenity lake for a residential development masquerading as a water supply reservoir. It will siphon massive quantities of water from the Chattahoochee River immediately upstream of Lake Lanier,” said the Georgia River Network, a coalition that includes the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and the Coosa River Basin Initiative.
“This 850-acre reservoir would destroy more than 92,000 linear feet of creeks and streams,” it added. “It would pull 108 million gallons a day from the Chattahoochee, which is already stressed, (and) divert it into this lake that will provide high-priced lakefront lots for an amenity development.”
On the other side, the Greater Hall (County) Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District endorse Glades. They and other supporters insist that the reservoir is needed to a growing population that could swell from 180,000 now to 800,000 in 2060.
“According to data provided in Hall County’s permit application, the impact of the new reservoir on downstream lake levels will be negligible,” reported the Panama City News Herald. “But this data has not yet been verified by the Corps (of Engineers) or by AECOM, an Atlanta management consultation firm working under supervision of the Corps on this project.”
In addition to environmental groups such as Georgia River Network, many downstream of Atlanta oppose a new reservoir in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin. They believe that the needs of downstream fisheries and municipalities are neglected, while the metro area withdraws too much water from this system that borders Alabama and Georgia and eventually empties in Florida’s Apalachicola Bay.
Those three states have argued since the early 1990s about how to divide the water.
(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times.)