TRVA Board of Directors Adopts Resolution in Opposition to Georgia Intentions to Divert Water Away From the Tennessee River Basin

A RESOLUTION:

URGING THE STATE OF GEORGIA TO INVEST IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND IMPROVE CONSERVATION EFFORTS TO ADDRESS ITS WATER SUPPLY NEEDS.

WHEREAS, the Tennessee River is of enormous economic and environmental importance to the Tennessee Valley region and its citizens; and

WHEREAS, the Tennessee River provides in excess of 200 million gallons of water per day that supports flows essential to the operation of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, the Tombigbee River, and the Alabama State Port; and

WHEREAS, the transfer of water out of the Tennessee River Basin by an upstream state into another river basin imposes costs on downstream communities by diminishing the flow of water in the Tennessee River, particularly during periods of drought; and

WHEREAS, the Atlanta metropolitan area in the State of Georgia has failed to invest adequately in water supply infrastructure for decades, but has instead relied in meeting water supply needs upon use of storage in federal reservoirs to which it has no legal entitlement to the detriment of downstream communities, including communities located in Alabama; and

WHEREAS, a United States District Court has ruled that the illegal water supply usage by metropolitan Atlanta communities of Lake Lanier in Georgia must stop in 2012; and

WHEREAS, a study performed by Atlanta area interests after that district court ruling showed that those water supply needs of metropolitan Atlanta currently being met out of the Chattahoochee River Basin can still be met out of that Basin in the future if local interests make a sufficient investment in infrastructure and undertake appropriate conservation measures; and

WHEREAS, the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives recently passed a resolution urging a study of the withdrawal, storage, and distribution of waters from the Tennessee River Basin to other parts of Georgia in need of additional water supplies; and

WHEREAS, the resolution did not recognize or consider the costs on downstream communities in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky of such a proposed transfer of water out of the Tennessee River Basin; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TENESSEE RIVER VALLEY ASSOCIATION, That we urge the State of Georgia to recognize that meeting the water supply needs of the Atlanta metropolitan area and other communities in Georgia outside of the Tennessee River Basin should be met through long overdue investment in infrastructure and improvement of conservation in the river basin in which those communities are located, rather than through the contemplated transfer of water away from the Tennessee River Basin.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Governors and Congressional Delegations of the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky are urged to support measures to prevent efforts by the State of Georgia to divert water away from the Tennessee River Basin to other parts of Georgia.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution shall be provided to the Governors and Congressional Delegations of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky as an expression of our strong sentiments on this issue.

Adopted 2 May 2011