Interbasin Transfers In Georgia sign now

To: Gov. Sonny Perdue & Georgia State Representatives and Senators

BACKGROUND: Georgia is home to more than 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, but with a population of 9.8 million people these abundant water resources are being strained, especially in Metro Atlanta where more than 4 million of Georgias citizens reside. Unfortunately, Georgias largest metropolitan area sits in North Georgia near the states mountains where several of Georgias rivers begin, and where water is less abundant.

For example, each day on average, about 1.6 billion gallons of water flows by the City of Atlanta in the Chattahoochee Riverthe areas primary drinking water source. By contrast, about 4.5 billion gallons flow by the City of Augusta in the Savannah, more than 3 billion gallons flow by Columbus in the Chattahoochee and some 4.4 billion flow by Rome in the Coosa.

Because Georgias residents are not where Georgias water is, many believe that the abundant water resources of Georgias smaller cities should be piped or transferred to Metro Atlanta to support that regions continued economic growth. This process is usually referred to as interbasin transfer because water is moved from one river basin to another and not returned.

Interbasin transfers create conflicts between communities because water removed from a river and not returned is no longer available to sustain the economies of downstream communities or protect the health of the river and the wildlife that depend upon it.

Interbasin transfers currently take place in many parts of the state but most notably on the Chattahoochee and Coosa rivers. The Chattahoochee loses some 56 million gallons each day (MGD) while the Coosa loses about 23 MGD.

However, recent proposals for meeting Metro Atlantas water demands include plans to transfer as much as 150 MGD from the Savannah River system, 200 MGD from the Tennessee River system and even 200 MGD from South Georgia wells.

Such massive transfers could significantly impact the economic future of Georgias smaller communities and threaten the natural heritage of our state.

Georgia needs to regulate interbasin transfers to protect our rivers and the future of all Georgia communities.

The states current laws regulating interbasin transfers are weak and should be strengthened.

RECOMMENDATION: Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia General Assembly should adopt during the 2010 legislative session laws directing Georgias Environmental Protection Division to issue water withdrawal permits for interbasin transfers in a manner that protects our states natural heritage and our economic future.


ABOUT THE PETITION:
This online petition requires your name, e-mail address, address, city, state, zip code and phone number so that we may use this information to inform your state Senator and Representative as well as Gov. Perdue of your support for regulating interbasin transfers. To maintain your privacy, this information will not appear on the results page and will not be accessible online by anyone other than the Georgia Water Coalition.

This petition is sponsored by the Georgia Water Coalition, a consortium of some 170 organizations that works to ensure that water is managed fairly for all Georgians, with the interest of all citizens, existing businesses and farms in mind. For more information: www.garivers.org/gawater

SIGN THE PETITION!
I, The Undersigned, ask Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia General Assembly to adopt during the 2010 legislative session laws directing Georgias Environmental Protection Division to issue water withdrawal permits for interbasin transfers in a manner that protects our states natural heritage and our economic future.

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Leah CohenBy:
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Georgia Voters

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