This story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution does an excellent job of tracing back the planning failures that led to the current water shortages in the Atlanta area. The author documents how the region failed to plan effectively for new sources, and claims this was mainly due to inept political leadership that never saw water-supply planning as a priority. Kudos to the author, Matt Kempner, for digging deep and naming names that he believes were should be held accountable for their lack of attention to the problem.
It is pretty idiotic to neglect the need for new water infrastructure, particularly in a region that has witnessed such steady suburban sprawl. The whole debacle got me wondering how much blame planners deserve for the current predicament. I can mostly excuse local government planners, working (as I have done) for shortsighted politicians with growth-at-all-cost mentalities. But what of regional planners? Does the Atlanta area have any regional planning councils? Have they been planning for water supply, or otherwise advocating the importance of it to policymakers?