Atlanta's Water Woes – WaterHub

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Metropolitan Atlanta has become emblematic of 21st century water issues, with its 20-year legal battle between Georgia, Florida and Alabama over its drinking water source (known as the “Tri-state Water Wars”); $4 billion consent decrees with EPA mandating improvements to Atlanta’s over-burdened and aging sewer lines; continued problems with drought; low reservoir levels; limited space for additional reservoirs; and small watershed area.

This aerial view of the receding shoreline along Atlanta's reservoir Lake Lanier was taken just before the lake reached a record-low level in November 2007. In response, Georgia’s governor ordered utilities and public water systems to reduce consumption by 10% amid the state's worst drought in almost a century.

In response, Georgia's state government has sought to identify alternate water sources, such as rainwater harvesting, and has promoted water efficiency measures. On March 1, 2016, metro-Atlanta voters decided to continue a 1% sales tax to fund water and sewer projects, including the construction of an emergency reservoir—a critical backstop for a city that faced the prospect of running out of drinking water during the 2007 drought.

Sources:  The American Prospect, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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