Atlanta plan for new reservoir has Alabama up in arms

A proposal by the city of Atlanta to build a 2,000-acre reservoir in north Georgia to resolve its drinking water shortage has Alabama officials already raising concerns that the plan would siphon too much water from the Coosa River. The controversial idea to build the reservoir on Shoal Creek and pipe 100 million gallons a day into metro Atlanta still has a load of legal and political hurdles to clear in Georgia, but it could open a new front in the water wars. Atlanta has been scrambling for alternate water sources since a federal judge, at the urging of Alabama and Florida, ordered them to stop drawing from Lake Lanier in three years. It would be a $600 million to $650 million project to build the reservoir and treatment plant, plus a 38-mile, 84-inch water main into north Fulton County. It would provide drinking water to the city of Atlanta and other customers along the way. Shoal Creek feeds into the Etowah River, which feeds into the Coosa River in Alabama. Governor Bob Riley has said that Alabama cannot accept the building of a new reservoir that would simply add to the problem by adding to what’s already being taken.