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Atlanta - The First City In America To Shut-down?

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posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 11:34 AM
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Atlanta and Water

Last October, I visited Decatur, a smallish suburban city in Greater Atlanta. See note. While there I was impressed with the nearly universal concern raised by north Georgia’s longest recorded drought that had blanked most of the rainfall since last March. Metro Atlanta receives its drinking water (also its industrial and commercial supply) from two lakes north of the metropolitan area owned or controlled by the US Corps of Engineers. Lake Allatoona and Lake Lanier. About 400 million gallons a day. But that is less than half the total water taken from the 2 lakes. The Corps did a survey of the two lakes in early November and declared there was a nine (9) months supply of water in the lakes. When full, the lakes hold a 2 years supply.

Concerns over potable water reach far from Atlanta. Some 350 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico. Large cities as LaGrange and Columbus, GA are also served by the two lakes. Hundreds of thousands of people living on the Alabama side of the river also use its water. In the fast growing west Florida panhandle, wildlife and the $50 million a year seafood industry of Apalachicola Bay are threatened should the Corps hold back the 2 lake’s headwaters that make up most of the water flowing into the Chattahoochee River system. The river’s freshwater keeps the salt water of the Gulf out of the Bay, allowing the shellfish to grow.

A system of river dams that hit the TVA drawing boards in the early 1940s was never intended to fulfill the demands made by today’s exploded population and the largely unforseen industrial developments made in the region over the last half century. In short, our infrastructure is out-dated and is being taxed beyond it capacity. The obvious solution just to enlarge the watershed running into the two lakes underestimates the adverse impact that would have on thousands of other people. There is little to none surplus water in the region. Fast growing Huntsville and Birmingham, Alabama as well as Chattanooga, Tennessee lay claim to that same water. Charlotte, NC, Columbia, SC, and Augusta GA, also have needs that extra water would help fill.

The largest single non-essential consumer of the 2 lakes fresh water is - golf courses! Well yes, I am the one who calls golf courses non-essential. That argument aside, we are looking square in the face at an unwelcome but upcoming sea change in our old-time priorities. We are leaning the hard way that you can live without petroleum, but you cannot live without water.

The nearest “unlimited” supply of fresh water is available at Nashville, TN, from the Cumberland River. Another temporary source of fresh water might be Louisville, KY, from the Ohio River. It’s 7 hours one way from Louisville to Lake Allatoona. Four hours one way from Nashville. Could trucks carry enough water to Atlanta to make a difference? If the current 6,000 gallons 80,000 pounds GVW weight limit was lifted, 9000 gallons of water could be transported in existing trucks, weighing about 105,000 pounds GVW. Special rules would have to be put into effect on I-65, I-28 and I-75 to facilitate the transport of water by truck. By raising the speed limit on trucks and restricting the right hand lanes to water tankers only and confining cars to the left lane, trucks from Louisville and Nashville could supply part of Atlanta's fresh water needs. It would require 12,000 trucks loaded with 9,000 gallons each to deliver about 100 million gallons a day, about 10%-15% of the current demand. That's a lot of trucks!

If it takes 15 minutes to unload a tanker, then you’d need 200-300 accessible off-loading sites for the trucks. As you can see, it would be a demanding - but not impossible - undertaking to supply Atlanta’s barest minimum water needs by truck. The wholesale price for drinking water in Louisville is $15 per 1000 gallons poured into your truck. $135 for 9,000 gallons. But with drivers pay at $18 an hour and diesel fuel running $3.25 a gallon, you’d have to figure $1,000 per truck load as the cost delivered to Lake Allatoona. About $12 million a day.

So who’s going to pay for this expensive way to get your water? Well, suppose a Low Income Provision is made. Let’s say the first 500 gallons per month per household is charged at $10. The next 500 gallons would be charged at $25. The excess up to 5,000 galleons would be charged at 25 cents per gallon. That's $1,000 a month! Water bills would be payable in advance. Use of over 5,000 gallons would get you a shut-off order. Hospitals would be excluded and some other really essential high users allowed. Special usage permits would be available, but publicly posted and signed by the applicant, the mayor and the professional justifying the need. Falsification or negligent authorization of high use permits would be jailing offenses. Offer a quick pay standard reward of $1,000 cash for tuning in cheaters.

Suppose you are the Person-in-Charge. This loss of drinking water would have the same effect as if Hurricane Katrina had struck Atlanta rather than New Orleans. It would shut down the metro Atlanta region. When do you order the evacuation of Atlanta? You cannot wait until the water is gone. It would take 2-3 months for the orderly evacuation of this area. So do you wait until the water supply is 4 months? Or 6 months? Or 2 months? Should there be a Emergency Plan? Should the public engage in the formulating of such drastic measures? Or leave it to “Brownie?”

Note: The Atlanta Metropolitan area population is given as 5 million and is primarily located in Fulton, Cobb, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Clayton and Douglas counties. Some information is available at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, www.ajc.com...

[edit on 12/17/2007 by donwhite]




posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 11:41 AM
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Donwhite you know I live in Ga, yes we are having a hart time with this unusual warm weather followed by a few days of very cold and dry.

Is actually interesting to point out that after two episodes of flooding with just a few years apart with many wet months due to Hurricanes and summer storms, people were organizing and praying for a dry spell in the many churches around the state and weather targeted areas

Now that their prayers has been answered and we have more than just a dry spell people are gathering around (including the governor) to pray again for rain.


I think God is confuse and doesn't know what to do with the south anymore.



posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by marg6043
 


Donwhite you know I live in Ga, yes we are having a hart time with this unusual warm weather followed by a few days of very cold and dry. Is actually interesting to point out that after two episodes of flooding with just a few years apart with many wet months due to Hurricanes and summer storms, people were organizing and praying for a dry spell in the many churches around the state and weather targeted areas. Now that their prayers has been answered and we have more than just a dry spell people are gathering around (including the governor) to pray again for rain. I think God is confuse and doesn't know what to do with the south anymore.


Hello, Marg43! I’m so glad to hear from you. I guess the best lesson for us is to learn how to preserve nature and to use it wisely. America and Americans were so blessed with the world’s BEST 3 million square miles that we have long ago forgotten what it meant to live WITH nature rather than to live OFF nature. We’re still in the USE IT NOW mode and may not get out of that mind-set until it is too late. Until after we have passed a tipping point, crossed a threshold we cannot undo. I hope not.

I lived in FL in the 1960s. All water here comes from wells drilled to a great acquirer that runs from south-central GA to middle FL. In the 60s, wells in JAX were about 300 feet deep. Today they are 750 feet and some brackish water is seeping in. We had better work on desalination before we work on a trip to MARS.

The idea of evacuating a city like Atlanta boggles my mind, yet I find it very interesting to consider. How? When? And most of all, evacuate TO WHERE?

See drought.unl.edu...

[edit on 12/17/2007 by donwhite]



posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 12:11 PM
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Wow! Doesn't even seem worth the time and expense involved to do all of that. Besides, why pillage some else's watershed to feed yours? You never even investigated the implication of removing 100 millions gallons of water from another source - but why would you? That would be some else's problem now, wouldn't it?


I've got a better idea... How about people start leading a SUSTAINABLE lifestyle??? And do it by living in a place where the population can be sustained (LAs Vegas anybody - I mean COME ON!!!:@@
.

This is going to be tough for alot of self-righteous and indulgent Americans to swallow but you CANNOT continue to deplete the world's resources at the rates you are and then act astounded when it bites your behind! Maybe Atlanta would do best by controlling it's population growth.



posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 12:24 PM
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I think Detroit is first.

Take a look at all the abandoned buildings there.

images.google.com...



posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 12:49 PM
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I would agree with Kozmo, you are just hunting for a quick fix and even then your ideas are the worst possible solution. Foremost, you are taxing another watershed. Second, creating a logistics system of highway tankers is silly the way you present it. There is a reason we have rules for weight and speeds of commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles are the primary reason roadways deteriorate second to freeze/thaw cycles, because of weight. Speed is another factor. You want to increase the GVW and then allow them to go faster. How many people are going to get in the way of this endless convoy, I don't know but God help them. Here is the solution to that; railroads. The only benefit trucks have over rail is that they can make deliveries to places rail is not serviced.

The real solution is changing our habits and drawing from salt water systems by building desalination plants. Its more expensive, but when we decide to quit using water for golf courses and flushing potable water down the drain in our toilets, then maybe that will offset the cost.



posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 02:40 PM
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Thanks DonWhite,

We have some areas in GA that Water is been delivered because of the drought.

I think that our problem is big but the state government is trying to avoid a pandemic and trying to wait to see if the problem "being nature related" will fix by itself.

After all it is the hurricane season and storm season the one that keeps the south nice and green, but for the last few years we have been very dry.

But I can only imagine that we may see many water trucks around.



posted on Dec, 17 2007 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by logicize
I think Detroit is first.

Take a look at all the abandoned buildings there.

images.google.com...


detroit was white flight.

this would be due to an inability to support the population. two entirely different things.

maybe changes on this scale will wake people up and make them realize we need to become better stewards of our planet.

i also herd that due to this drought we can look forward to and increase in the price of beer and the possible suspension of the production of jack daniel's. now that will wake the american minions



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