The Tennessee River flows through Chattanooga. Staff photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Once again, Georgia lawmakers are debating whether they can pipe water from the Tennessee River to fix a water shortage in metro Atlanta.
Republican Rep. Jay Neal wants the General Assembly to pass a law making it legal to take water from the Tennessee River watershed and diverting it south toward Atlanta. Neal says conservation alone won't answer Georgia's water needs.
Environmental watchdog groups say it would be cheaper and more effective to conserve water rather than building expensive pipelines.
Senior Republican leaders have floated tit-for-tat trades with Tennessee authorities so they can get water from the river shed. Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said nothing has changed to make his state interested in parting with its water.