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Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:20pm

Group Cites River Concerns

A report released Thursday by the River Network said electricity production in Georgia is threatening rivers and power generation. It also said the state’s once ample water supply is declining along with water quality.

Coal and nuclear power plants use water for cooling their generators, then return it to rivers. University of Georgia hydrology professor Todd Rasmussen said above-normal temperatures and a continuing drought are reducing water quality.

“Unlike a hurricane, tornado or earthquake that strikes quickly, these droughts are disasters in slow motion. It’s something that we could prepare for,” said Rasmussen.

The report also says power plants may have to cut back on production resulting in cuts in supply. But Mark Williams with Georgia Power said they’ve made it through other droughts.

“We’ve got a diverse generation mix that we rely on and by managing that wisely we are able to handle any sort of drought that happens,” said Williams.

The report also calls on power companies to expand production through less water intensive methods like solar and wind.