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Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 12:35pm

Deal Says Reservoirs Still A Priority

Tuesday’s court ruling that secures the federal reservoir Lake Lanier as a water source for north Georgia and metro Atlanta hasn’t changed the push for new reservoir projects. Building them is still a priority for Governor Nathan Deal.

The Governor says no one can predict how much drinking water the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allocate to Georgia:

“I think we have been dependent on federally controlled reservoirs for our citizens too long… we do need to have local reservoirs that communities can have control over and can judge what their water needs are.”

Hall County Commission Chair Tom Oliver shares that concern. He says the county should still create a lake just north of Lake Lanier in case the area needs the water supply in the future.

Though he says the infrastructure to draw water can wait.

"And I don’t think there’s a need to build it... I mean the pipes and water treatment plant, but I do think though there’s a need to build the lake."

Oliver says the lake portion of the $350 million Glades Reservoir project will cost about $50 million.

The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper calls the plan nonsensical in light of the ruling and pushes for the cheaper alternatives of raising the level of Lake Lanier and conserving water.