published Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Georgia water planners seek public comments

by Andy Johns


Visit or contact:

Arnettia Murphy

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Environmental Protection Division

2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Suite 1152, East Tower

Atlanta, GA 30334

404-656-4157 phone

404-651-5778 fax

People interested in Northwest Georgia’s water plan, which includes evaluating the Tennessee River as an option for water supply, have until June 23 to make their opinions heard.

Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division made drafts of plans for regions available Monday on its website,, including the one created by the Coosa-North Georgia Regional Water Planning Council.

“It’s the opportunity for a lot more minds to think about it than were just in that room,” said Walker County Coordinator David Ashburn, who is vice chairman of the board. “They may have something we didn’t think about, and that’s OK.”

The council will use the comments to revise its draft.

Ashburn said he had no idea how much participation to expect.

“We don’t have a clue,” he said. “We’re just looking for people’s thoughts or ideas.”

The Regional Water Planning Councils have been meeting regularly since February 2009 to prepare their initial draft.

The initial draft last fall includes many recommendations on ways to conserve water as well as the option to add reservoirs and look north to the Tennessee River.

The final draft calls for the state to “explore opportunities for Georgia to expand use of the Tennessee River as a water supply source.” The plan acknowledges “potential legal issues” that Georgia and Tennessee would have to work out, but also says the authors of the plan “would like future planning efforts to address this alternative water source in more detail.”

The council must submit its final plan to the state Environmental Protection Division by Sept. 30.

Follow Georgia news on Twitter here.

about Andy Johns...

Andy began working at the Times Free Press in July 2008 as a general assignment reporter before focusing on Northwest Georgia and Georgia politics in May of 2009. Before coming to the Times Free Press, Andy worked for the Anniston Star, the Rome News Tribune and the Campus Carrier at Berry College, where he graduated with a communications degree in 2006. He is pursuing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Tennessee ...

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timesfreepress said...

Do you think Georgia has any claim to the Tennessee River?

May 12, 2011 at 12:11 a.m.
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