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Calling water dirty
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I see on the Web that some folks think that a reservoir is a dirty idea for Dawson County.

They oppose it saying that it will eliminate habitat for a protected species of fish and that it will harm downstream communities by using "their water."

I concede the first point.

The government agencies responsible will have to be convinced that other habitat can be established elsewhere to sustain the species.

I believe that this can be done.

The darters survived Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona and hydraulic gold mining and they are probably tough enough to survive a small reservoir on Shoal Creek.

I dispute the second point.

There is no logic, but twisted logic, in their extreme claim.

The whole western half of Georgia is drained by the Etowah River system. By their thinking, anyone who uses any of that water using impounded water by definition "steals" from his downstream neighbor.

Cherokee County is a big time thief from Cobb. Cobb steals from Bartow and so on. I submit that we in Dawson have as much right to that water flowing through our county as much as those downstream neighbors have to do the same. We should use it and return it, cleaned and ready for others.

The next point I would make seems silly to even cover, but apparently the opposition to the reservoir does not grasp the basics. Dawson County does not sit on an underground aquifer. It sits on solid granite rock about 50 feet on average below our feet.

When it rains here, the creeks rise almost immediately and in about five days the water is gone, having run off down the river.

As a consequence we get big swings in discharge rates.

The Etowah runs very low and then very high. So does the Chattahoochee. If they were not dammed and the flows were not regulated, the variances in flows would be even greater. If those rivers were not dammed, those flows would be natural but about half of the people would have to leave North Georgia because we could not provide water during drought for fire suppression, sanitary sewers or power generation.

Now if we want "natural flows," we should breach every dam in the state, because if this proposed reservoir is evil then all dams are evil.

Why should some receive the benefits of reservoirs and others denied?

It seems to me that if we are careful and considerate and that if we comply with the already stringent state and federal regulations we can build a reservoir that will benefit the citizens of the county and the state for years to come. That is not a dirty idea.

Gary Pichon
District 1 Commissioner