Fri., November 27, 2009 4:05am (EST)

Too Late for New Water Manuals, Georgia Says
By Susanna Capelouto
Updated: 5 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Georgia says rewriting manuals that manage Lake Lanier is useless. (photo courtesy Don the Fox)
Georgia says rewriting manuals that manage Lake Lanier is useless. (photo courtesy Don the Fox)
Georgia officials say the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is missing the boat in rewriting the manuals that control flow in the Chattahoochee River.

They say it’s a nice effort, but a waste of time and money.

Last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it is seeking public input in rewriting the 50-year-old manuals it uses to control Lake Lanier and other reservoirs along the Chattahoochee River. It is doing so because a judge ruled this summer that Georgia can no longer use Lanier by 2012 as a drinking water source.

Georgia officials had tried to get new manuals written for years, they say, especially as metro Atlanta was growing. But each time, they say, the effort was blocked by Alabama Senator Richard Shelby. He is a powerful member of the appropriations committee.

Since the judge’s ruling this summer, that block has been lifted and the Corps has started the process of rewriting the management manuals.

Governor Perdue's spokesman Bert Brantley says any resources that are put into updating the manuals will be wasted.

"It's work that should have been done years ago," Brantley says. "We'll get a resolution to water sharing, and the effort is useless. They'll have to rewrite them again."

Governor Perdue is appealing the judges ruling. He also wants to keep negotiating with Florida and Alabama over sharing the water, while hoping that Congress will authorize Lake Lanier as a water source for Atlanta.