Category: Water

Water: Balloons, Guns, Slides in Policy

By Benita M. Dodd  Don’t like the drought-related watering restrictions in your community? Outraged enough to rat out neighbors who violate watering rules? The state’s water “wars” could get worse: Watch out for the initial draft of the Statewide Water Management Plan, scheduled to be unveiled June 28.  The plan, required by the 2004 “Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Planning Act,” is the beginning of a new direction for Georgia’s future growth, development and economy. Developed by the state Environmental Protection Division, this policy framework will be presented to the Water Council for consideration through December, after which it goes to the General Assembly in 2008 for approval.   Georgians need to stay involved to ensure the end product promises responsible stewardship… View Article

Clean Water Markets: A Policy Option for Georgia

By Kristin Rowles Given a choice between two equivalent solutions to a problem, the rational choice is to select the least expensive option. Water quality trading, a hot topic around the nation, offers the regulated community this type of choice. Traditional water quality regulations require wastewater dischargers to attain effluent standards on-site, usually by selecting from a narrow range of available technologies. Introducing a market-based water quality trading program expands the options available to the regulated community, including options that can achieve water quality standards – or surpass them – at a lower cost. At a recent workshop in Perry, the Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center demonstrated how water quality trading could benefit Georgia . State lawmakers and others… View Article

Presumptions on Water Quality can Pollute Minds

By Harold Brown Projections of metro Atlanta’s deteriorating water quality are many and presumptive, usually with warnings of looming problems exploited as leverage for some cause or project. According to numerous assessments, urban development is degrading water quality and impervious surfaces such as roads, parking lots and roofs are causing pollution of streams. Atlanta’s Water Initiative report of 2000 reinforced this: “As stormwater travels over roads, parking lots, lawns and roofs, it picks up pollutants which are then deposited directly into streams.” Crisis is impending in headlines, too. For the Etowah River, which waters northern Atlanta, it was “A River Under Siege” in 1992; “High pollution levels threaten Lake Allatoona” in 2000 and “Endangered Etowah – Growth troubles its waters”… View Article

Solving the Woes of Water Infrastructure

By Benita M. Dodd One week after more than 600 people from around the nation participated in an Atlanta conference on how to fund sustainable water infrastructure, the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced its annual assistance to states and municipalities for water infrastructure topped $5 billion in 2006. That brings to more than $57 billion the total funds distributed and more than 18,000 loans since the Clean Water State Revolving Fund began 20 years ago. The program, the largest federal funding program for wastewater infrastructure projects (such as treatment plants and collection systems), requires a 20 percent state match, and the states make low interest loans to utilities. The problem, however, is that the nation’s water infrastructure is not just… View Article

Progress of Stormwater Utilities a Watershed Event

By Brant D. Keller, Ph. D. Across the nation and in Georgia, progress in the creation of stormwater utilities has been remarkable and encouraging. It was as recent as 1998 that the city of Griffin became the first government in Georgia to create a stormwater utility, its intent to hold property owners accountable for runoff and provide a stable, equitable funding source dedicated to managing a watershed approach to water quality and quantity challenges.  Curiosity recently sent me back to my 2001 dissertation and research to examine the validity of my projections through 2020 on the increase in stormwater utilities. The nation, according to my 2001 model, was expected to see an increase of 1,500 to 2,000 stormwater utilities through… View Article

TMDLs: Tall Tale of Fishes and Silt

By Harold Brown The king of Clearwater liked to fish, but he was distraught that he could catch only a few, or none, in the streams near the castle and sent his Knights of Fisheries to investigate. The Knights of Fisheries learned that a witch from the neighboring kingdom of Sweetwater had cast a spell to warn all fish away from the streams near the castle. The witch was dead, but apparently her spell lived on. Concerned, the king ordered the fishery knights to draw up an “anti-witchery plan” for the fish-poor streams of his kingdom. It turns out, however, that the fish knew nothing of the witch’s works; in fact, they just didn’t like the streams of Clearwater. When… View Article

Where Has All the Water Gone – Or Has It?

By Harold Brown It is impossible to use up water. When it is used, it doesn’t disappear. There is as much water on this planet today as there was thousands of years ago. When it rains, the water evaporates or it runs to streams or underground reservoirs. It’s hard to make it do anything else, except temporarily. Likewise, when water from a stream is used, it returns to a stream or evaporates. The water from your tap goes back to a stream, even if you drink it. If you water your lawn, wash your car or empty your sink, the water goes back to a stream. Some of the water metro Atlanta uses goes to its sewage treatment plants, where… View Article

From Flexibility Flows Sound Water Policy

By Benita M. Dodd Environmental organizations have great success in rallying support around their causes, and their traditional targets, industry and business leaders, would be first to admit it. It’s an uphill battle to overcome their sound bites and grass-roots fervor. Sometimes, however, even when a legitimate concern is resolved the rallying cry lives on. It’s the environmental equivalent of Craig Shergold, the 9-year-old cancer-stricken boy who wanted enough greeting cards to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. He broke the record with more than 16 million cards. That he broke it in 1991, that he’s now a healthy adult who doesn’t want any more cards, somehow became irrelevant. Hundreds of millions of cards later, his 1989 appeal… View Article

Agenda 2005

Agenda 2005: A Guide To The Issues Water Agenda Adopt better pricing of water to encourage conservation. Adopt user fees to pay for source-water protection. Implement cost-based user fees to fund watershed protection. Promote flexibility and compliance assistance in water environmental policy. Encourage municipal stormwater utilities. Establish a statewide Watershed Management Trust Fund. Provide opportunities for industry and farmers to trade for water quality improvements similar to the current air trading program. Educate developers and facilitate adoption of conservation-minded water practices. Eliminate the discriminatory aspect of the insurance premium tax. Consider a market-based trading system for allocating water use  Facts Georgia has more than 70,150 miles of rivers and streams and more than 425,382 acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds.… View Article
By Benita Dodd Within the next few months, Georgians across the state will never again be able to water more than three days a week. State officials, working to foster a culture of conservation, called it “a very big step” for water conservation when the board of the Department of Natural Resources approved rules for permanent statewide outdoor water use restrictions. Promoting a culture of conservation is a noble goal. Excluding agriculture, Georgia’s average daily per-capita water consumption is estimated at 168 gallons compared with a national average of 153 gallons. Our population is growing in leaps and bounds; we’re feuding with the neighbors over who gets what water, and new reservoirs are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth. Steps… View Article

It’s so often a lack of information that keeps us from getting involved. The Foundation is doing for the public what many could not do for themselves. Anytime that we’re given the truth, people can make good decisions.

Deen Day Smith, Chairman of the Board, Cecil B. Day Investment Company more quotes