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Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 7:08am

Perdue In Albany Thursday To Talk Water Strategy

This morning, Governor Sonny Perdue will talk to water stakeholders in Albany about Georgia's strategy going forward in the so-called water wars.

On Wednesday, Perdue was in Columbus to convince people downstream of Atlanta that they have a stake in the ongoing water negotiations.

The move comes after a recent court ruling that would cut Lake Lanier as a drinking-water source for Atlanta in three years.

This is a "Georgia family issue," Perdue says and not an issue of Columbus versus Metro Atlanta.

Perdue gave a PowerPoint presentation to about 100 people at Columbus Technical College. It outlined Georgia's strategy in fighting the judge's ruling, which says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not authorized to give drinking water to Atlanta.

In his remarks Perdue was critical of Alabama Governor Bob Riley, saying he has yet to hear from him on agreeing to meet for water negotiations.

Perdue says he will appeal the judge's ruling by claiming that in 1865 the U.S. Supreme Court said that the west bank of the Chattahoochee River is in Georgia territory.

Therefore, Perdue says, Georgia has a right to the water in the river.

He made it clear that any flow guarantees at the Alabama and Florida borders could hurt the Columbus area. Perdue says "I will not agree to any deal that negatively affects the Chattahoochee."

Some in the audience said they would like guarantees from Metro Atlanta that it would send clean - and enough - water downstream.

Tomorrow Perdue will give his presentation to stakeholders in Albany. It is part of the Lower Chattahoochee River and Flint River Basins, an area where water use for farming will likely be a hot topic.


Edgar Treiguts