02-05-2008 @ 4:15 am

The Truth about the Water Crisis

Got Water?
 “The report of my death was an exaggeration” – Mark Twain

Next to the financial issues surrounding the mortgage meltdown, the most prevalent topic of discussion in metro Atlanta in 2007 was the drought and the future of Atlanta’s water supply. What does this mean to the economy of Atlanta and north Georgia?
Many US cities have water issues, ongoing for decades.  Instead of dealing with this issue in Atlanta, local and state officials have ignored the “elephant in the room” allowing it to progress all the way to crisis status. Remember the millions of dollars in state and federal sewage fines amassed by the City of Atlanta? These costly issues have still not been corrected. It only stands to reason that the diminishing water supply has been equally neglected.

Consider that the current drought is a 100-year drought, which will reverse itself in time. While overbuilding is constantly blamed for the predicament, how many cities would be able to maintain growth if restricted to the water available in a 100-year drought?

Take heart though, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a solution to this problem. However, it will require a commitment by our elected officials and a substantial investment in new infrastructure. New infrastructure is code for, “it’s going to cost a lot of money.” Naturally, that will increase the cost of developing in metro Atlanta, thus raising the value of existing improved properties. The fear of a critical shortage and the inconvenience of the watering ban should give politicians the ability to make what previously would have been unpopular decisions.

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