Sifting reality from illusion in the politics of Georgia’s water crisis

Georgia’s ongoing water crisis defies an easy solution, or even an easy explanation.

So when you listen to candidates for governor discuss the issue, you’re not hoping to hear a solution to a complex problem, because there aren’t any. At best, you hope to hear evidence that the candidates have educated themselves on the issue and have thought it through intelligently.

For example, consider the positions of the top four GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, the front-runner at the moment, brings up Georgia’s claims that if drawn accurately, the border between Tennessee and Georgia would give us water rights to the Tennessee River. As governor, Oxendine says, he would raise that issue in talks with Tennessee.

That’s an easy answer with obvious political appeal. It’s also pretty foolish. Tennessee officials have made it clear they will fight any effort to redraw the centuries-old boundary. Given that we’re already embroiled in a losing political and legal battle with Alabama and Florida, opening a third front with our northern neighbor would be futile and probably counterproductive.

Oxendine’s penchant for the popular over the practical is also on display on his campaign Web site. To address our water problems, it states, “John will take on a federal government — an impersonal, far-away monstrosity that cares more about Florida mussels than our Georgia citizens.”

Again, the idea of taking on the feds may appeal to some in Oxendine’s base, but historically, it hasn’t been a winning strategy for Georgia. In addition, Washington isn’t the real villain. To the contrary, the support of the federal government is probably the best hope we have of forcing a reasonable outcome to our disagreement with Florida and Alabama.

One of the most difficult issues confronting state policymakers is the role of interbasin transfers. While it would be relatively easy for metro Atlanta to ease its water-supply problems by tapping into watersheds outside its boundaries, that approach has understandably alarmed other parts of the state. They fear that to fuel its growth, metro Atlanta will use its political power to seize water supplies and leave downstream communities and ecosystems high and dry.

Karen Handel, the former secretary of state, says she opposes interbasin transfers as a bad idea, a position that is seemingly designed to strengthen her hand with Republican voters outside the metro area.

But two other GOP candidates, former state Sen. Eric Johnson and U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, took a more balanced approach at a recent candidates’ forum sponsored by the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Interbasin transfers must be used sparingly, Johnson said, “but to say that absolutely never will we have interbasin transfers is not a good way to approach this.”

“That doesn’t mean I want Atlanta sticking a straw in the Savannah River,” Johnson said, noting that he himself comes from Savannah. “But to say you will never have interbasin transfers is to lock metro Atlanta into a potentially crisis situation.”
Former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, from Gainesville, echoed that.

“There will be interbasin transfers,” Deal told the chamber. “I think the important thing is that you have minimized it” and “not to make it a predominant source of water.”

The approach taken by Deal and Johnson is fair and practical. Metro Atlanta cannot take water that others need; it has to do everything it can, through planning and conservation, to live within its own water resources. But the worst-case scenarios for the metro region are too dire to simply rule out water transfers as a tool for dealing with a crisis.

109 comments Add your comment

stands for decibels

June 29th, 2010
2:33 pm

Ox is actually campaigning on the hope that we could somehow draw from the Tennessee River?

really?

Gale

June 29th, 2010
2:39 pm

In the context of conservation, I would like to see water infrastructure repair on the budget in a major way.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
2:42 pm

Last week the Gainesville, GA Times (print edition only) had a really good series on the Chattahoochie and it’s many uses and all the people who depend on it for their livelyhood. The people between Atlanta and Appalachicola Bay and their needs are largely forgotten in most of these discussions.

In my view, interbasin transfers would set off a conflict that would never end. Just look at water conflicts out West.

All areas need to learn to live with the resources they have and use them wisely. Maybe lush, green lawns shouldn’t really be that high on the priority list.

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
2:46 pm

dB

Along with doing away with the state income tax. I saw that on a tv commercial.

Doggone/GA

June 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

“Maybe lush, green lawns shouldn’t really be that high on the priority list”

Maybe not, but on just that narrow subject alone…it isn’t the “lush green lawns” that are the problem. The problem is getting them by the use of unsuitable, heavily water dependent varieties of grasses. There ARE deeper rooted grasses and other plants that can be used, that don’t require so much top watering, but they aren’t a commercially viable grass for commercial growth as their root systems are too deep for mechanical harvesting. They must either be seeded or plugged, and they take longer to produce an attractive lawn.

Gale

June 29th, 2010
2:52 pm

It isn’t the quality of the lawns, but the quantity of them. The metro area has been over-developed. Water isn’t the only resource that is a problem, just the most serious.

Outhouse GoKart

June 29th, 2010
2:53 pm

Thats just pie in the sky thinking. We need more canals and commercial waterways. Has anyone given thought to personal aero transporation? Jet packs and/or other means of personal jet propulsion?

Perhaps the annexation of the entire TN river that borders our State? There are many solutions that as of yet our illustrious politicians have yet to contemplate.

stands for decibels

June 29th, 2010
2:54 pm

All areas need to learn to live with the resources they have and use them wisely. Maybe lush, green lawns shouldn’t really be that high on the priority list.

I’m still a bit dumbfounded as to how a metro area that averages around 50 inches in rainfall per year can’t make do with what comes from the sky.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
2:55 pm

Okay…now what are the Democrats saying….?

Gale

June 29th, 2010
2:55 pm

DoggoneGA, since you seem to know, I thought bermuda grass was supposed to be drought tolerant. Not so? I read that root grows quite deep. Yet that sod is readily available.

Outhouse GoKart

June 29th, 2010
2:56 pm

Another idea. I was watching the water just pouring out of the downspouts from lastnight rainfall. As I recall from watching the Beverly Hillbillies, Granny needed fresh rainwater in which to wash her hair.

Now judging from the water rushing from these downspouts my guess is gallons per minute and the ole rain barrel would be filled very quickly.

This water could be used for lawn watering if nothing else…

Outhouse GoKart

June 29th, 2010
2:58 pm

Perhaps its time to bring back the Roman bath-houses that once were so prominent in Atlanta. Not that I would be bathing in them but for those who prefer…more power to them.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

June 29th, 2010
2:58 pm

Well, we don’t need a third war till they whip us in Iran and Afghanistan, so redrawing the boundary with TN is out.

Maybe we could get our water the sneaky way—just lay a bunch of pipe at night up near Helen and maybe up close to the TN border. I bet all those people floating down the rivers in inner tubes will wonder what’s going on when they keep scraping bottom.

Anyhow, I’m disappointed Bookman never mentioned the other major canadates. Like Neal Horsley. Now if you can put your disgust at that mule thing aside, he makes alot of sense. We become our own nation. That way the U.S. courts don’t have no control over us. And neither does FL or AL. We just take all the water we want from our lakes and if the oysters in FL get a little dry and crunchy, too bad. The oil is going to get them sooner or later anyway.

I’ll be happy when this whole primary thing is over. You can’t hardly park along a road without crushing some politican’s sign and the telephone calls make it awful hard to focus on Fox News at night. There’s got to be a powerful bunch of money in being guvner of GA. And there’s got to be a good reason why a canadate would spend $2 million for a job that only pays $200K a year. Maybe Oxendine could take the other canadates on a hunting trip with him. Sort of thin the herd a bit and give us voters a break.

Have a good night everybody.

Doggone/GA

June 29th, 2010
2:59 pm

Gale – yes, it is…but I think part of the problem is that it’s not as “pretty” a lawn, plus it’s harder to contain because it also propogates by runners…which means more work to keep it out of places like flower beds.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
2:59 pm

“I’m still a bit dumbfounded as to how a metro area that averages around 50 inches in rainfall per year can’t make do with what comes from the sky.”

Too many people in too little a space. Too much unfettered growth as a sign of “progress.” Too many people in positions of power and influence with no understanding of the land “out there” and its ability to sustain a big head…for starters…

stands for decibels

June 29th, 2010
3:00 pm

j-nix, here’s what Roy sez:

http://www.roy2010.com/issues/25-water

in brief: incentivize conservation, pray that we’re allowed to build more reservoirs…

Gale

June 29th, 2010
3:00 pm

Outhouse, There is a small business venture if I ever heard one. Rainwater watering systems. It needs a non-offensive reservoir, some method for pressurizing or pumping the water, and voila! That rain barrel is not very attractive, and I am not going to water the lawn one watering can at a time!

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
3:00 pm

which means more work to keep it out of places like flower beds.

Don’t get me started on that one…

Doggone/GA

June 29th, 2010
3:01 pm

“I’m still a bit dumbfounded as to how a metro area that averages around 50 inches in rainfall per year can’t make do with what comes from the sky.”

Problem is that grassy lawns are not very good at retaining water, so it just runs off – down the road, down the drains and into the river. There’s just not enough “spongey” material on lawn to hold a significant amount of water.

Outhouse GoKart

June 29th, 2010
3:02 pm

Now Im no rocket scientist or general scientiest, for that matter, however it occurs to me that water is made up of 1 part Hyrdrogen and 2 parts Oxygen…H2O.

So…if we could just begin harvesting the H’s and the O’s floating around in the atomsphere we could “grow” our own water. And H2O farm if you will.

Gale

June 29th, 2010
3:04 pm

Bermuda grass not pretty? Nah. Well maybe if you like mowing the lawn all winter. Personally, I like a brake in the action over the winter. Who cares if it goes dormant?

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:04 pm

SFD
Thanks. One question: where will those reservoirs be built and what about the folks living there now?

stands for decibels

June 29th, 2010
3:05 pm

…and here’s Roy Poythress (yeah, I know, who dat?) and his water plan.

http://www.poythressforgovernor.com/files/Poythress_Water.pdf

(Actually, I’ve heard him speak on the topic live/in person, guy talks a good game anyway.)

Gale

June 29th, 2010
3:06 pm

Spongy material on lawns… That is where those deep roots come into play. Are you saying the deep root system of grasses like Bermuda won’t absorb rainfall? Now if you mean fescue, I will certainly agree.

stands for decibels

June 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

One question: where will those reservoirs be built and what about the folks living there now?

oh, heck if I know. Reason I said “pray” is because it’s very difficult, from what I understand, to get permitted to build a reservoir anywhere, given all the claims to the water already out there. I’d think the properties that’d be affected by pooling would be the least of the worries.

Gale

June 29th, 2010
3:07 pm

Outhouse: Hey Luke, you done checking the vaporators yet?

Jay

June 29th, 2010
3:08 pm

I didn’t get into it in this piece, but reservoirs will indeed have to be part of the solution. The problem is that every attempt to get a permit for a reservoir in either the Chattahoochee or Tallapoosa watershed has been and will be fought in court by Alabama and Florida until we get resolution of the water war.

Doggone/GA

June 29th, 2010
3:08 pm

“That rain barrel is not very attractive, and I am not going to water the lawn one watering can at a time!”

And a rain barrel is nowhere near big enough, but on some home improvement show not too long ago, I saw the crew installing a rainwater catching system that looked really useful. It involved a really LARGE “bladder” hooked up to the waterspout and it could capture hundreds of gallons of water.

They “hid” the bladder under a closed in porch, and it was hooked up to the sprinkler system, and it had an overflow valve that diverted the water into runoff if the bladder was full. I didn’t catch the name of the manufacturer, but it shouldn’t be hard to find on an internet search.

Outhouse GoKart

June 29th, 2010
3:09 pm

Well as I recall those Hydrogen cars give off an exhaust of water vapor. If we all had access to hydro-cars the exhaust would perhaps produced enough vapor so we might experience daily rains showers.

If that doenst work then connect a hose to the exhaust pipe with some form of conversion device that would empty the converted exhaust vapor, water, into the rain barrel trailer attached to everyones auto and Presto Change-O.

These are just a few of my ideas…my contribution so to speak.

A private sector employee

June 29th, 2010
3:09 pm

What is there to say? The “Great Water Grab” is over. Metro Atlanta bet (incorrectly) that a deal would be struck and that current use would be grandfathered in… so they grabbed as much water and stalled for an outcome as long as they could. By “They”, I mean Fulton, Cobb, and Gwinnett. They rarely said “no” to any project, and much of Gwinnett is urban today without any parks because of it. And then came the ruling from Judge Magnuson, and it DIDN’T have a grandfathering clause, and Fulton Cobb and Gwinnett have no water. Yet, they STILL expect to reach an outcome where they have enough for current use and growth.

Here are the facts: there is NO REASON, short of massive compensation, for Alabama or Florida to give up one drop of water. There is no reason for them to come to the table and voluntarily give Georgia anything. Thus, Georgia is going to have to bypass the Corp of Engineers lakes and develop their own water sources. It is too bad that the best place to develop those sources is being taken up by Lakes Lanier and Allatoona. But a series a of reservoirs that ring those lakes and trap the springs and creeks that feed those lakes is the ONLY legitimate solution to thwart the trappings of Corp control. A complete solution includes: A series of reservoirs, strict usage rules, strict growth limits (i.e. virtually NO GROWTH.), repairing leaking infrastructure, interbasin transfers.

Our current and future politicians still haven’t admitted to themselves that they might face a “no more water” ultimatum. IMHO, that is an unacceptable attitude from someone who wants to lead this state. We can solve this, but we have to start yesterday.

Matti

June 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

With much of the moisture in this region coming directly from the evaporation of the Gulf, the composition of which has been significantly altered, we may well be facing another drought. It’s up to US to (a) invest in buckets for the home, fix leaks and demand conservation from all occupants, (b) report waste, such as commercial developments’ sprinklers gone wild, and (c) DEMAND action from our leaders to address this issue long-term.

The “we don’t need no gubmint” folks need to realize that this is NOT an issue individuals can solve for ourselves, and that yes, the self-serving businessmen who call themselves legislators do indeed need to solve problems on our behalf to earn the paychecks they cash. (Cutting their own taxes, brokering back-room contracts, and publicly bashing the President does not qualify.) A real initiative will create jobs, and that can only help the economy, even if they are only temporary. Industries are not attracted to, and do not thrive in, areas where basic resources are a problem.

My fescue looks like *bleep*. I have a bag of bermuda seed. Should I throw it down or no?

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

For those who’ve been around long enough to remember what used to be there. Go to the Georgia 400-I-85-Lenox-Sidney Marcus abomination. It used to be a community (Piney Grove, a freedman’s settlement) built in a forested area in keeping with the natural environment. Razed and paved over. Go down to Peachtree Creek. Used to not flood. Go there today in even a moderate rain, much less a gulley-washer. Look at what’s happening. Then go on down to Peachtree Battle. Count up the number of houses being flooded. Go back and read the “studies” done at the time the permits were being granted. Then look at who was in power and signing said permits. Case closed.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

Josef @ 2:59

Preach on Brother. They listen but they don’t hear. An economy based on perpetual growth and development is bound to run up against resource issues, sooner or later.

Doggone @ 2:51

Your point is what I was getting at. Grasses, plants, etc. need to be compatible with this area. The only thing I ever water, other than something I’ve just planted, is tomato plants. I water them sparingly, by means of a short length of 2″ pipe going straight into the ground beside the plant. That’ll hold about a quart. Fill it up, place an empty can or some other improvised pipe over it, and the water soaks into the ground at a depth of about 6″ and minimizes evaporation.

As for grass, I’ve always used fescue. It turns brown in the summer but it keeps the dirt from washing and it comes back out in the Fall. You can’t see my yard from the road anyway, and if you could, those that don’t like it could always turn their heads and look the other way.

Doggone/GA

June 29th, 2010
3:13 pm

“Are you saying the deep root system of grasses like Bermuda won’t absorb rainfall? Now if you mean fescue, I will certainly agree”

They do absorb rainfall, what they don’t do is store it. In a natural system the water is “stored” in the decaying plant material on the ground. In a suburban lawn situation, there isn’t that spongey, decayed material there to absorb and hold that water.

The advantage to a Bermuda lawn is that the roots DO grow deeper, so they are able to take greater advantage of water further down…but they still don’t do much to stop the surface water from running off.

stands for decibels

June 29th, 2010
3:14 pm

These are just a few of my ideas…my contribution so to speak.

What about an actual Outhouse Go-Kart? Is this like the unicorn, a beautiful but, alas, a mythological creature?

Gale

June 29th, 2010
3:14 pm

Neat Doggone/GA. There are multiple vendors of that rain water storage system. I didn’t research enough to get a price, but it would be worth a look for future reference. I wonder if we might ever see a tax incentive for installing a system? Probably not, but the ROI might be worth it in reduced water bills if the conservation feel good isn’t enough.

Granny Godzilla

June 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

Mr. G and I are looking into “grey water” systems….

Night Train

June 29th, 2010
3:17 pm

Here is a simple solution for some people.
I converted from a septic system to the city sewer system. I had my septic tank pumped out to get rid of what was in there. Then I ran all my downspouts to the septic tank and installed an overflow outlet. I installed a sump pump in the septic tank and connected it to my sprinkler system. Now when it does not rain for a few weeks I use the rain water stored in the septic tank to water my lawn.
My lawn is Zoysia grass and it is very drought tolerant. It can go dormant for a few years and still come back with just a little water. Borders around the flower beds and a weed whacker control the new runners.
No government solution needed. My water bill went down and I’m putting the sewer stuff back into the water system thanks to the city water treatment plant.

Gale

June 29th, 2010
3:25 pm

Lots of good ideas here in the ‘act locally’ world. Too bad the politicians just continue to ignore real solutions because they are not popular. Simply requiring gray water solutions in new housing developments built in the last ten years would have helped our situation. Of course, a resource impact review before permitting the development would have been a good start as well.

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
3:28 pm

Gale

If you’re banking on politicians to do something other than the popular, you have a better chance of running a lemonade stand in hell.

Normal

June 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
2:55 pm
Okay…now what are the Democrats saying….?

Dig wells…

Matti

June 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

Night Train,

Excellent! Good solutions should be shared, so I hope you’ll become a voice in the community with your excellent know-how. But just because you required no “government solution” for your personal property does not mean that the government has no business implementing and enforcing policies for developers and local water systems. Developers, under the “free market is God” policies of this state and metro counties, have torn up anything and everything they could around here for decades with no regard to the long-term effect on our communities. The in-and-out-for-a-quck-buck way of doing business has not served us (the natives OR the four million transplants) well. Planning matters.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:34 pm

So, all the potential governors want more reservoirs, but where?

Conservation and the ideas some of us are putting forward are rational and are something we as individuals can do and feel better about oursleves. I’m including myself in this. I feel ever so much better when I take the dishwater and bathwater out and pour it over my admittedly beautiful flowers and potted plants. Last night we had wonderful homegrown tomatoes, okra, and hot peppers…fresh sliced ones at lunch today…the yard is terraced to hold back the runoff. The slopes are planted with native shrubs…fine…but a fat lot of good that does when the Buckhead Coalition is h3ll bent on paving over the entire neighborhood and putting stacked crackerboxes full of people without the vaguest notion of conservation…

STOP THE UNPLANNED MANIACAL GREEDY GROWTH…

Outhouse GoKart

June 29th, 2010
3:36 pm

“(a) invest in buckets for the home,”

Very good idea!

Haywood Jablome

June 29th, 2010
3:38 pm

I’ll be votin’ for the candidate who proposes solutions via alternative uses for urine!

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

A lot of those developers didn’t even live here. They got their money and they’ve gone off to do it again somewhere else. They don’t and didn’t care. Those who were supposed to be looking out for local interests were in their hip pocket.

BADA BING

June 29th, 2010
3:41 pm

I was wondering the other day, if they invented a car that runs on water, would some snobs put Evian in the tank?

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:41 pm

My drainspouts run into the native shrub planted incline where we rake the leaves from other parts of the lawn in the fall. Virtually no run off into the gutters and Peachtree Creek. Yet come in the fall and see how many of the neighbors “bag” those leaves for the city to remove…ever so conscientiously buying bio-degradable bags, though, so I guess they feel better about doing their part too…

Normal

June 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

Leaves, bah! God made ‘em…let God handle ‘em!

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:44 pm

“I’ll be votin’ for the candidate who proposes solutions via alternative uses for urine!”

Sprinkle it around the edges of the property line. The highrise dwellers mutts won’t use your yard for a potty…seriously, it works… :-)

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:45 pm

Normal–
You say that in jest, but, yes! G-d or M-ther N-ture knows best…

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
3:45 pm

ever so conscientiously buying bio-degradable bags,

Don’t even get me started on how much petroleum is used to make plastic bottles to sell water in.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
3:46 pm

If God didn’t want the leaves on the ground, He wouldn’t have put them there. Who am I to interfere with His plan? ;-)

The X Factor

June 29th, 2010
3:48 pm

Water is the only thing people will fight a local war over. The chaos of local wars leads to the only way that evil fanatics can rise to power.

Stay thirsty my friends.

Love, the committee to elect Bob Barr

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
3:50 pm

Gale

June 29th, 2010
3:50 pm

josef, 3:44, I was told it works to keep deer away from plants as well.

Matti

June 29th, 2010
3:54 pm

Leaves and straw not bagged in densely developed areas often wind up clogging the street drains during in a deluge, then flooding ensues in the streets and nearby homes. Also not good.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:55 pm

GALE

It will! The possums and coons are not impressed, though…and yes, we have them here right smack dab in the middle of town…they’re not too unhappy with the influx of outsiders, though…mo’ groceries in the dumpsters!

RW-(the original)

June 29th, 2010
3:56 pm

I can’t wait to get the Roy Barnes commercial on this issue.

When I’m Governor we’ll put everybody to work carrying water to everybody else and the best news is that it’s all gonna be free!!!

/ad faked by RW….

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
3:57 pm

Matti

Bagging…not if you are conscious of the natural terrain and use them to create water holding mulch…

Pogo

June 29th, 2010
4:01 pm

Josef@2:55, it doesn’t matter to Jay what the Democrats are saying. What is important to him is that he demonize the republicans. OR, perhaps he has resolved himself to the fact that the Democrats won’t even come into play in the fall election. I tend to think the latter is the truth. In fact, if you apply this logic, many of the pieces Jay writes are probably the result of him lashing out at what he knows is inevitable in the fall and beyond. They are the result of knowing that the majority do not agree with you or people who think as you do.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
4:02 pm

I rigged up a thing to block the discharge chute on a push mower. Sort of creates a mulching mower; then just run over the leaves with it. It cuts them up pretty fine and then they can either be put in piles to rot or around flowers , etc.

Scout

June 29th, 2010
4:04 pm

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
4:06 pm

POGO
It does stick out like a sore thumb. I read over the Democrats on this and can’t see two cents worth of difference in what they’re saying and what the GOP is saying…I can understand the urge to take swipes at the GOP given the Bruin’s (and my own) political orientation, but sometimes it’s just plain petty and really does more harm than good…in my opinion…

Pogo

June 29th, 2010
4:08 pm

Hmmm.
http://blogs.suntimes.com/blago/2010/06/tom_balanoff_obama_called_day.html

Obama putting the squeeze on a Union Chief for old Valerie. Chicago politics at its rotten finest.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
4:09 pm

Hillbilly

Yep, we do that, too in the fall. Most of the rest of the year we use the old fashioned no engine push mower…the grass part of the yard is small and flat enough to make that no big deal…

Matti

June 29th, 2010
4:09 pm

jo nix,

I’m hearing you, Hon, but not everyone has a nice piece of land with space on it for that kind of thing. (Or two yummy, able-bodied men to do the work.) I’m thinking of the low-lying subdivisions with old houses and little yards full of trees — often occupied by people with no money for professional landscapers or fancy projects. Streets and homes frequently flood during Noah season because they did some raking, but did not properly dispose of the piles, which then wash into the small, old, root-filled drains. My trees give me 18 tons of pine straw every year Not allowed to cut down healthy ones nin my ‘hood, and I already have a quarter-acre side with a ten-foot base of nothing but decaying tree matter. It just keeps coming, but buyers only want processed straw that’s been cleaned, dyed, bailed, and delivered.

Scout

June 29th, 2010
4:12 pm

Pogo:

Yep.

And I believe they intentionally shut down that wire before the first black President-Elect got himself on tape for an indictable/impeachable offense and they couldn’t ignore that.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
4:13 pm

It just keeps coming, but buyers only want processed straw that’s been cleaned, dyed, bailed, and delivered.

Things like that are part of the problem. Pine straw is pine straw. Back before the pine beetles killed them all, if I wanted pine straw, I just grabbed the rake, headed for the pines and got after it.

BADA BING

June 29th, 2010
4:14 pm

If they invent a water powered car, it needs to run on sea water, not fresh water. The world is already short on drinkable water. Using seawater would tie up trillions of gallons, thereby lowering ocean levels around the world. Of course the water would eventually wind up back in the ocean, via streams, rivers, etc. The gas companies could just transport the water just as they do gas, they have the pipelines, trucks, and stations in place now.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

June 29th, 2010
4:14 pm

“Sifting reality from illusion in the politics of Georgia’s water crisis”

HaHaHaHa….. How ’bout sifting reality from illusion in the politics of the following:

Increasing Federal Deficit
Increasing Trade Deficit
Lack of Border Security
Increasing Unemployment Rate Among Non-Government Workers
Declining Stock Market
Government Response to Gulf Oil Spill
Plan for Stabilization and Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Plan for Withdrawal Iraq
Response to North Korean Sinking of South Korean Naval Vessel
Response to Iranian Nuclear Proliferation

Rather than concentrate on our “inept” State leaders, how about focusing on our “inept” Federal leaders.

Curious Observer

June 29th, 2010
4:17 pm

Not allowed to cut down healthy ones nin my ‘hood, and I already have a quarter-acre side with a ten-foot base of nothing but decaying tree matter.

Or you could have a neighbor like my last one. He planted ivy adjacent to the chain link fence separating our properties, then sold out and left. Ivy respects no property boundaries, and it simply gobbles up leaves. And no matter how many times you mow it down, it always comes back.

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
4:20 pm

HD

I use the mulch method too. The area where my subdivision sits was cleared before the first house was built. The oldest trees we have are 7-8 years old. I don’t have enough leaves to rake, so I just mulch them back into the yard.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
4:22 pm

Matti–
Your points are well made and especially that pine straw one! We’ve got a couple of them that are, in my personal opinion, a hostile species, native or no! As for the streets and leaves, we need to create jobs…well….shouldn’t this fall under the sanitation department…? Come down the streets on a regular basis in the fall with a reverse-blower, shred them a la Hillbilly, and sell as mulch…

Matti

June 29th, 2010
4:24 pm

Georgia natives know it’s a love/hate relationship with our pine trees. They’re a pain — mountains of straw, pine beetles, and the messy aftermath of storms — but the transplants who cut theirs down now have much higher air-conditioning costs. Thank God for shade on a day like this!

@@

June 29th, 2010
4:25 pm

The Clayton County Water Authority reported full pool levels among its five reservoirs, whose combined storage capacity is 4.1 billion gallons.

Count ‘em….FIVE! They’re the only good thing we’ve got going for us, and I, for one, am ever so grateful.

The centipede is a bit crispy, but what the hay, hey?

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
4:29 pm

BADA BING

Salt water fuel…there’s a video of this, too, but I couldn’t find it…

http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:John_Kanzius_Produces_Hydrogen_from_Salt_Water_Using_Radio_Waves

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
4:29 pm

When I built my house, I built it so I could save as many trees as possible, including 3 very large oaks. Daddy said they were about as big as they are now when he was a boy (he’s past 80). I also like having some 90 foot poplars around. They make good lightning rods. You’ll lose one now and again but it beats the house getting hit. This is a high lightning area and the house gets hit more than enough, anyway.

The fact that developers cut down every tree in sight, contributes to run-off, higher temps, and a whole host of other problems. But hey, time was wasting and there were dollars to be had.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
4:31 pm

@@

From a conversation a while back, the radio in the garden seems to be keeping the deer out fairly well. Not 100% but pretty good. I knew it worked with coons but never had tried it for deer.

Matti

June 29th, 2010
4:33 pm

Curious,

At least the English ivy dominates the poison! (Die! Die! Die!) I have lots of English, Virginia Creeper, and Wisteria too. The Wisteria is the most dominant, but blooms and smells pretty along with the azaleas and dogwoods.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
4:36 pm

matti

Ah! The shade factor…when I’m talking to our “new” neighbors and the subject turns to the electric bill and keeping cool, it’s all I can do to keep from telling them, “well, you blathering idiot if you hadn’t have scraped the lot bare and cut down all the trees to put up that monstrosity McMansion…”
Every fall when I’m there raking, I just have to keep reminding myself how glad I was to have the trees in the summer…

BADA BING

June 29th, 2010
4:39 pm

Even if cars will ever run on water, there has to be a standard for water quality, there could be no sand, dirt, etc. in the water. It would have to be filtered in some way. You could not use just any water straight from the ocean.

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
4:42 pm

Bada

if you have one of these, you could go straight from the ocean.

http://worldwatersolar.com/disasterrelief/

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
4:43 pm

Hillbilly
The lightening rod…yes! I love riding through the country and seeing the old trees right close to the house and then those magnificent old trees still standing at “a house place” where the feeble efforts of man have long disappeared, but the tree still stands marking the spot. I’ve watched as natives to the area who inherited the land, put up their new houses right next to those trees,,,

matti
The wisteria! I’ve got one started on a trellis outside the back door now…the lower end of the lot has an old one on the property line which has gone up the trees..the smell in the spring coming through the open windows is sheer heaven…the neighborhood is just full of them…

Pogo

June 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

Jay’s earlier celebration of the success of the TSA as a indicator of government spending being a success and an economic boon to this country is truly sad by anyones standards. The TSA is a bloated and inefficient government organization formed by Bush which is carried on by Obama and congress. It was created to give a false sense of calm and confidence about air travel to the American people but at a very huge cost to us taxpayers. Most of what they are doing could have been done at a fraction of the cost by revising airport security procedures and it could have been contracted out to a private firms. Instead, a massive government bureaucratic frankenstein was created. All one has to do is go through an airport and really see what is really going on with them. 60% are standing around and the rest are acting like they are pissed off because they have to do even simple things like confirming the names on boarding passes and the pictures on id cards and x-raying carry-ons such as shoes and computers. Yea, they are a great indicator of successful government spending Jay. Of course to you, any government job is money well spent, isn’t it?

Jefferson

June 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

Not all of GA has water problems.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 29th, 2010
4:54 pm

I’ve watched as natives to the area who inherited the land, put up their new houses right next to those trees,,,

That’s basically what I did. There was an old house here before my time. My house is about 30-40 yards from where the old house was. I have all the old foundation rocks and some from the chimney in a big pile. Somebody asked me what I was going to do with them and I said, “Nothing except to sit on the porch and look at ‘em”.

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
4:56 pm

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
4:56 pm

Pogo

For all people harp about TSA, we have not had one life lost since 9/11 on an airplane other than crashes themselves. Numerous guns and knives have been kept from being carried as well. No system is foolproof. Do you really think a private company could do that for much less? Think about the quality of people you’d turn over your security to.

If you think they’re overpaid, check out their pay scale yourself. Most all TSA officers start off paid on the D band, and supervisors are paid on the G band.

http://www.tsa.gov/join/careers/pay_scales.shtm

Would you do their job for less than that? If so, fill out an application at http:///www.usajobs.opm.gov to volunteer your services. If not, why would you ask someone to do what you would not do?

@@

June 29th, 2010
5:02 pm

Hillbilly:

I contemplated the radio. We have an outlet near the garden…not sure why. I think it’s because the pool pump is near.

Anyway, my white flags on fishing line are doing the trick. I like to think of it as a reverse psychology thingy.

I surrendered (white flags), and the deer stay away.

Scout

June 29th, 2010
5:09 pm

“OFF TOPIC #1″

Hummmmm …………. isn’t this discriminatory ?

Headline (CNN): “Chinese companies ‘rent’ white foreigners”

“Chinese companies are willing to pay high prices for fair faces to join them as fake employees or business partners. It’s all about the age-old concept of face (may I add a WHITE ONE) and the implication of increasingly crucial overseas connections.”

http://www.cnn.com/2010/BUSINESS/06/29/china.rent.white.people/index.html?hpt=C1

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
5:10 pm

SoCo

I get so p*ssed at folks yapping about “government workers” and how much they’re paid. The obviously haven’t looked at the pay scales…and especially the level of the ones they actually see with feet on the ground…

Hillbilly

When the Old Place burned, all that was left were the foundation stones and the two rock chimneys. When Mama rebuilt, the New Place was designed to incoroporate the chimneys and the old foundation stones were used for a rock wall out back…the Old Place had been built in the 1840s and Mama would go out and sit “to listen to the tales the stones are telling me…” The tree was a walnut and survived the fire…you know how messy they can be…my nephew lives there now and one of his and his wife’s biggest fights came when she set out to “have that old tree cut…”

jm

June 29th, 2010
5:12 pm

Reality: short of a literal act of congress, Atlanta is screwed. Drastic conservation measures will have take place (think roof water reclamation for everyone). I literally hope I can take a shower. The golf course business and landscaping business is toast. Astroturf business should do well though.

We are in the bad negotiating position, and we don’t have any leverage over the opposition = problem.

Hillbilly Deluxe (For Rent)

June 29th, 2010
5:12 pm

Rent a Hillbilly. Reasonable rates. Call today. Supplies are limited.

(Free Shamwow to the first 100 callers).

TaxPayer

June 29th, 2010
5:17 pm

I’ll bet I could sift the water in our little creek and get more valuable fines than you’ll get from filtering our politician’s talking points.

josef nix

June 29th, 2010
5:18 pm

squirrell (and not the one I just ran out of the okra,,,)

AmVet

June 29th, 2010
5:20 pm

“Georgia’s ongoing water crisis defies an easy solution, or even an easy explanation.”

This is NOT going to go over well with your garden variety (get it?) conned. They cannot deal with less than easy explanations.

Speaking of which, Pogo always has had a way of stinking his feet in his mouth.

And Southern Comfort yet again shows how little the conned’s talking points really are.

For the” free market does everything better than the government” fools, I have two words – Argenbright Security.

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
5:35 pm

josef

They tend to forget that the “CEO” of the government earns a salary of $400,000. That’s not even VP pay at many of our major corporations. There’s probably room to cut employees in different areas of the government. I’ll acknowledge that, but to think that “all” government workers just earns major money is a misnomer.

AmV

A private company might be able to do it, but they’re not going to do it unless it’s a profit maker for them. Imagine the $6-$12 security fees on tickets would go to $25-$50 or something like that. Sometimes, it’s best to really think a position before you take it.

BADA BING

June 29th, 2010
5:41 pm

Any scientists online? What will happen to the oil picked up with the water during a hurricane? Not washed ashore, but taken up to the clouds. I have noticed that salt water doesn’t come down when the hurricane rains come inland. It is fresh water. What happens to the salt? What will happen to the oil?

Southern Comfort

June 29th, 2010
5:50 pm

Bada

Evaporation only happens to the water. No salt or oil would be picked up. Worst case scenario with the oil is that it washes ashore as part of the storm surge.