Georgia experiences several droughts including one from 2005 to 2007 that made headlines as lake levels in Lake Lanier, which serves as a major water reservoir for Atlanta reached record lows. It was shown that this drought cost $2 billion dollars in loses, which included $87.6 million in recreation spending lost from visitors to lake Lanier as the lake levels were down 20.21 feet from full capacity. It was shown that this drought was caused by an increase in consumption rather than anthropogenic climate change. There have been other major droughts in 1954-1956, 1981, 1985- 1988, and 1998 – 2002, 2012 to 2013 and 2017. To lessen the effects of droughts in the future of Georgia, education, voting with our dollars as consumers, and a change in diet are key.
The county that I live in, Cobb County, has an excellent water stewardship program. They have a team of scientist that travel the county and regularly test the quality of streams and rivers. They also provide lots of programming with the public. They are home to the largest adopt-a-stream program in the country which is a great way to engage citizens in water quality issues. They often host workshops where you will make and take home a rain barrel. They also send out quarterly newsletters on water issues in the county and host stream clean ups in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources Rivers Alive program.Continue reading