Water wars don’t only happen in the Southwest

The battleground. Lake Lanier in Georgia
The battleground. Lake Lanier in Georgia

Last week a federal judge ruled that Atlanta has three years to stop taking water from Lake Lanier. That’s bad for Atlanta (devastating even) but good news for the Alabama and Florida, downstream states.

The coming “negotiations” between the three states will no doubt be every bit as brass-knuckle as any water war in the Southwest has ever been.


  1. The problem is that Cities and Towns need to get a backbone and institute decent development rules instead of counting the tax dollars they will get. Developers need to start planning self-contained tracts where they have planned for garbage, sewage, electric, gas and water. They think water is going to magically appear and the NIMBY rules apply to their developments. Some other neighborhood can have the ugly power lines, stations, pipes and landfills.

  2. The other problem is that many places don’t treat water as the scarce resource it is. Southwest water laws may seem odd to people from other places– and they’re not perfect– but they DO acknowledge that there’s not enough to go around, and they implement a method of allocation. In other places maybe you don’t need that– until there’s a drought.

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