2009 America’s Most Endangered Rivers: Flint River, GA
#2 Flint River, Georgia
Threat: Proposed Water Supply Dams
Partners: Flint Riverkeeper, Georgia River Network
Well loved by anglers, boaters and Georgia families, the Flint River is one of the state’s most valuable natural treasures. But a two-year drought in the Southeast has revived calls to dam the Flint, even though more effective water supply solutions would save Atlanta as much as $700 million. Congress must deny attempts to authorize new dams on the Flint, and Metro Atlanta must make water efficiency the backbone of its water supply strategy. Learn More
UPDATE (October 2009): The Flint River remains highly vulnerable to pressure to dam its flows. In recent months, a federal judge handed down a decision that Georgia’s drinking water withdrawals from Lake Lanier are not authorized by Congress, and that Georgia has three years to either stop withdrawals from Lanier or be authorized by the U. S. Congress to continue the withdrawals.
In the aftermath of the Judge’s decision, Governor Perdue is considering a multitude of new reservoirs on the tributaries to the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers. Over a dozen proposed sites are on tributaries of the upper Flint. Meanwhile, water efficiency measures are capable of achieving nearly 100% reduction in withdrawals from Lanier, at a far lower cost to taxpayers than new reservoir construction.
Congress must deny attempts to authorize new dams on the Flint, and Georgia must take water efficiency off the back burner and ensure it is the backbone of water supply strategy, implemented first over new dams and reservoirs.