Letter sent to Georgia legislators from the districts around Lake Lanier on January 15, 2010 with copies to the governor, lieutenant governor, federal lawmakers and Corps officials.
As the Georgia legislature begins its session this month, the members of the Lake Lanier Association (LLA) ask for your help in protecting Georgia’s finest natural resource. As the Tri-States water wars litigation and negotiations move forward, we ask that the Georgia State Senators and State House Representatives protect Lake Lanier from the substantial and persistent Florida and Alabama attacks.
In addition to the highly publicized July 2009 ruling against Georgia regarding water supply authorization for Lanier, Judge Magnuson decided to not make a decision recreation as an authorized purpose of Lake Lanier. While the US Army Corps of Engineers has managed the Lake for recreation for 50+ years, and has been federally funded by congress for that activity through the budget process, Florida and Alabama contend that Lanier was not authorized for recreational purposes. Lanier contributes $1 – $2 billion to the North Georgia economy. Major water level draw downs (i.e. the 2007- 2008 drought) negatively affect that economic engine. We hope that Georgia will pass a resolution that supports a US Congressional authorization for recreation on Lake Lanier as an official purpose.
One of Governor Perdue’s initiatives as part of his task force on water alternatives is to investigate additional reservoirs in Georgia for water supply. For the past 3 years, LLA and the Georgia legislature have been driving for a 2 foot increase in the full pool level of Lanier (from 1071 to 1073 feet above sea level), thereby creating a new 26 – 27 billion gallon reservoir for the state (larger than Lake Seminole). This could be accomplished rapidly and implemented for modest costs. A resolution passed in the Georgia legislature in 2007 called for investigation into the possibility of 1073 as a strategy for additional water supply in the State. We ask that the Georgia legislature again pass a resolution that encourages the US Congress and the Corps to implement 1073 as “normal pool” water level for Lake Lanier.
Thank you in advance for your support of Lake Lanier and the economy of North Georgia.
Sincerely, V. M. Perry, Jr. Executive Vice President, LLA Lake Lanier Association Executive Summary