4:43 am December 8, 2010, by Henry Unger
Once again, the lesson is driven home: Water is critical to the economy.
Georgia’s drought in 2007-09 severely damaged the economy around Lake Lanier, costing the region millions more than earlier anticipated, AJC staffer Patrick Fox reports.
A 98-page study that took two years to compile and cost $180,000 came out Tuesday, Fox writes. It was commissioned by the non-profit 1071 Coalition and covered Hall, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Dawson and Lumpkin counties, which border the lake and contain the majority of the businesses and properties most dependent upon it.
“When you aggregate all the numbers, the total negative effect, it’s in the $300 million range for one year,” said Alex Laidlaw, 1071 Coalition president. “If the drought was prolonged in any significant way at those levels, we’d probably see that number climb exponentially.”
The report, prepared by Bleakley Advisory Group, PBS&J and Georgia State University economist Dr. Bruce Seaman, said when lake elevations fell to 50-year lows in 2008, commercial activity followed suit, Fox reports.
From 2007 to 2008, annual earnings fell 11.6 percent for commercial marinas on leased land. Annual visits fell by 11 percent, and overnight stays dropped 13 percent, Fox reports.
The drought took its toll on real estate and sales, as well.
Also in the AJC:
In other media:
- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.
Get inside Atlanta's and national business news and how it affects you.
Vacation stops, manage subscriptions and more