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Last updated 12:10PM ET
March 6, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Corps Says Atlanta Utility Taking Too Much Water
(2007-11-05)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The Army Corps of Engineers on Monday warned a suburban Atlanta water provider that it's drawing too much water out of a federal reservoir, a move likely to please Alabama officials who have been calling for more downstream releases from the lake.

Col. Byron Jorns said an analysis by the Corps has found that the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority pumped too much water from Lake Allatoona, one of several Georgia reservoirs at the heart of a three-state water fight. The corps is giving the authority 10 days to respond.

The authority can withdraw up to 34.5 million gallons of water each day from Allatoona, the Atlanta region's secondary water source, according to a pact first signed in 1963. Although the authority exceeds those numbers, it has said the figures do not account for the amount of treated sewage the authority returns to the lake every day.

Authority director Glenn Page did not immediately respond on Monday to a request for comment, but he has said the authority has "absolutely not" exceeded its limit.

The announcement comes days after the governors of Georgia, Alabama and Florida gathered in Washington over a water dispute that has festered for the better part of two decades.

The three states have been locked in a legal battle over water rights since 1990. An epic drought that plunged almost a third of the Southeast into an extreme or exceptional drought has intensified the fight.

A short-term agreement reached Thursday looked like a victory for Georgia, as the Corps agreed to bolster Atlanta's drinking supply by reducing by about 16 percent the amount of water flowing downstream from Lake Lanier, the north Georgia reservoir that supplies the about 3 million with water daily.

But the Corps later said it had agreed to delay until December its normal policy of cutting flows from Lake Allatoona, which Alabama relies upon for drinking and industrial water. And Monday's announcement could mean more restrictions from Cobb County's water authority, which provides water to more than 800,000 people in five counties.

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