Delay of northeast Georgia reservoir underscores flawed justification for project

A controversial proposal to create a new reservoir north of Georgia’s Lake Lanier in the Chattahoochee River watershed, above, is losing steam. (© iStock)

As the ongoing battle over water supply reservoirs around metro Atlanta continues, Hall County in northeast Georgia has withdrawn its application for a permit needed to construct the Glades Reservoir. SELC and our partner, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, have argued for years that the proposed 850-acre reservoir above Lake Lanier in the Chattahoochee River watershed is an unnecessary boondoggle.

While county officials claim withdrawing the permit will allow for further review of the project and its need, SELC and the Riverkeeper maintain there has never been a water supply need for the reservoir, and that evidence suggests its true purpose may be to create an amenity lake for a future development.

After testifying about the project’s problems at a public hearing in December, SELC and the Riverkeeper submitted comments on the draft environmental impact statement to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Once a major focus of Governor Deal’s statewide initiative to manage drinking water supplies, several plans for Georgia reservoirs have been shelved in recent years, including Bear Creek in Newton County, Indian Creek in Carroll County, and a separate Bear Creek project in south Fulton County. SELC and our partners have continued to push back on these projects in favor of more concentrated efforts to promote conservation and efficiency.

“We are pleased to hear that Hall County has withdrawn its permit application, and our hope is that this unnecessary project is taken off the books altogether,” said SELC Senior Attorney Gil Rogers. “We and our Georgia Water Coalition partners are constantly pushing for better, cost-effective water management practices that don’t include these wasteful proposals that come at a high cost to our environment and taxpayers.”

Read more about Hall County’s decision to withdraw the permit application in the Gainesville Times: Hall County hits pause on Glades Reservoir project.

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