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Tuesday, September 28, 2010 - 11:04am

Water Isn't A Top Priority With Voters

Updated: 4 years ago.
(photo Fir0002FlagstaffotosGFD)

Georgia gubernatorial candidates are making the case that solving the tri-state water war is an economic issue.

So far, however, voters aren't basing their decision on who will do a better job solving the perennial dispute.

Democrat Roy Barnes and Republican Nathan Deal both addressed water issues when they spoke to economic development officials at a conference here last week.

They said, finding a permanent solution to Georgia's water crisis is critical to economic development.

Still, a poll shows only one-percent of Georgians consider the issue a top priority.

Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling says, the economy tops all issues.

"It's hard to focus on water issues right now if your family's living on a tight budget, if your job is threatened or you're out of work," Coker says. "It doesn't mean that it's not an important issue. [Voters] just don't see it as an issue that directly affects them, at least right now."

Georgia's next governor will have to pick up negotiations with Florida and Alabama.

Last year, talks broke off after a judge dealt an upper-hand legal decision to the opposing states.

The judge ruled that Georgia doesn't have legal access to drinking water from Lake Lanier.

The judge gave the states until July 2012 to work out their differences.

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