Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Metro Atlanta's water supply planning failures

  1. #1
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Land of Confusion
    Posts
    3,872

    Metro Atlanta's water supply planning failures

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/met...ssed_1216.html

    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?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    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?
    A couple of links to things related to the above query:

    Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center
    Georgia Association of Regional Development Centers
    I am not sure how much power they have to implement plans or if they serve as primarily resources to support those entities that do have real power and responsibility (kind of like a lot of colleges give "technical support" maybe?). When I returned to Georgia a couple of years ago, I was surprised by the fact that Georgia has regional planning offices across the state.

    I also recall hearing that Atlanta does do some kind of regional planning for transportation and found this when I googled it: Atlanta Regional Commission

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    6,988
    While this article might be a bit of a tangent from the original aim of this thread, I think it presents some ideas that just are not being talked about enough - mainly that we shouldn't be wasting much energy and/or effort on bringing extra water to places where it doesn't exist naturally.

    How to solve America's water problems
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,195
    How much of that can also be traced back to severe political balkanization of the metro area itself?

    Near here, simple local political balkanization and distrust caused the suburbs of Green Bay, WI (except for Ashwaubenon) to build an entire new water supply system and a supply pipeline, costing several tens of millions of dollars, from the City of *Manitowoc*, WI (about 50 km away) to provide water for their residents, instead of buying the water at a wholesale rate from the City of Green Bay (Ashwaubenon opted to buy water from Green Bay). These suburbs all surround Green Bay except to the east and northeast, meaning that they had to build an expensive circumferential pipe main system to share that water among themselves, too.

    In fact, if I were on the state Public Service Commission, I would have rejected that as a senseless waste of tax money.

    Had the entire metro area (total population about 250K) been in the City, those water supply improvements would have cost far, far, far less.

    Unbelievable.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Promoting synergies...
    Posts
    3,686
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    While this article might be a bit of a tangent from the original aim of this thread, I think it presents some ideas that just are not being talked about enough - mainly that we shouldn't be wasting much energy and/or effort on bringing extra water to places where it doesn't exist naturally.

    How to solve America's water problems
    I thought this article was more tongue and check and a serious discussion of this issues like the AJC article. If you want to talk about Western water conservation you must include Las Vegas efforts and if you want a longer term look then one must consider Tucson.

    From the AJC article it appears that Atlanta and the rest of the region has not properly implemented the plans necessary. When Vegas hit its first drought a decade or so ago they implemented some very severe water use rules. Raleigh Durham area is facing the same issue.

    I will give the regional planners some leyway since how many population growth models done by long range planners include predicted recessions or housing slowdowns? Like droughts they are unpredictable.

    There will always be enough water, the question is how much are people going to pay for it.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  6. #6
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Under the Table
    Posts
    1,900
    Blog entries
    6
    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    I thought this article was more tongue and check and a serious discussion of this issues like the AJC article. If you want to talk about Western water conservation you must include Las Vegas efforts and if you want a longer term look then one must consider Tucson.

    From the AJC article it appears that Atlanta and the rest of the region has not properly implemented the plans necessary. When Vegas hit its first drought a decade or so ago they implemented some very severe water use rules. Raleigh Durham area is facing the same issue.

    I will give the regional planners some leyway since how many population growth models done by long range planners include predicted recessions or housing slowdowns? Like droughts they are unpredictable.

    There will always be enough water, the question is how much are people going to pay for it.
    I think the article makes a good point about the importance of planning and water. These communities seem to have poor planning when it comes to water. I think the authors tongue and cheek approach is rightly aimed at Bill Richardson's comment. Upstate communities have long suffered from the low cost of living in the south. The south may not be so cheap if the cost of water and energy to air condition goes up.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Dan Staley's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Front Range, CO
    Posts
    294

    Not always enough water.

    <i>There will always be enough water, the question is how much are people going to pay for it. </i>

    No. This is not true, and water planners and environmental managers do not feel this way.

    Another article about water issues and water planners in the West:

    http://durangoherald.com/asp-bin/art...ws071230_2.htm


    This is not including our forests dying & the resultant silt-up of streams and reservoirs.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Promoting synergies...
    Posts
    3,686
    Quote Originally posted by Dan Staley View post
    <i>There will always be enough water, the question is how much are people going to pay for it. </i>

    No. This is not true, and water planners and environmental managers do not feel this way.

    Another article about water issues and water planners in the West:

    http://durangoherald.com/asp-bin/art...ws071230_2.htm


    This is not including our forests dying & the resultant silt-up of streams and reservoirs.
    3/4 of the world is covered in water, if you are willing to pay any price you can convert it into drinkable water. It is all about $$$. Is that good planning, of course not. Potable water is a commodity and an inelastic on at that. People will pay the price because they have little choice.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  9. #9
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,992
    Blog entries
    1

    EXACTLY

    Quote Originally posted by Brocktoon View post
    3/4 of the world is covered in water, if you are willing to pay any price you can convert it into drinkable water. It is all about $$$. Is that good planning, of course not. Potable water is a commodity and an inelastic on at that. People will pay the price because they have little choice.
    I couldn't agree with BROCKTOON ANY MORE on this topic

    I think there are some coastal towns in Georgia that would REALLY love to see a billion dollar desalination plant and all the jobs it would create, while at the same time knowing that "those" people in Altalnta would be paying for it...:


    http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/o...esed_1226.html

    a snip:

    In a December 26, 2007 opinion column in the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nolan Hertel, a professor of nuclear and radiological engineering at Georgia Tech, wrote, "... nuclear reactors can be used... to produce large amounts of potable water. The process is already in use in a number of places around the world, from India to Japan and Russia. Eight nuclear reactors coupled to desalination plants are operating in Japan alone... nuclear desalination plants could be a source of large amounts of potable water transported by pipelines hundreds of miles inland..."

    not that I think nuclear is a good idea in this case.....I'm just pointing out there are solutions......costly as they may be......

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination#_note-7

    Interesting yet complex environmental resolutions to some of the problems.....

    Our local bio-refinery plant is saying that they will be selling a dozen or so megawatts back into the grid, while at the same time recapturing CO2......I can't help but think...what if this kind of facility were near the ocean.....could they use that energy on desalination......I wonder......
    Last edited by The One; 17 Jan 2008 at 2:05 PM. Reason: Forget it.....
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  10. #10
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Comer, GA
    Posts
    587
    Lake Lanier, metro Atlanta's main water supply, remains at approx 13 ft below full pool after continuing rainfall shortage. Lakefront lots are priced in millions, but look pretty funny with that low a water level.

    Incidentally, a cpl of yrs ago a tap water filter salesman told my south GA inlaws that one county on the south side of Atlanta had been granted permit to pipe effluent from its sewage treatment uphill to deposit in Lake Lanier.

    Meanwhile, the aging supply system regularly sees big main branch failures that erupt and flood streets.

    The current steep decline in building activity at least is easing up on the galloping demand increase, but I am not aware of much new thinking on the subject.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Your water supply
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 34
    Last post: 12 Mar 2012, 1:49 PM
  2. Planning employment in metro Philly and Chicago
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 15 Jan 2008, 1:23 PM
  3. Back-in parking successes/failures
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 25
    Last post: 18 Nov 2007, 6:39 AM
  4. The Myth of Market Failures
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 19 Jul 2006, 1:55 PM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last post: 28 May 2004, 4:06 PM