Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Georgia lawmakers eye Tennessee water again
Chattanooga Times-Free Press ^ | February 11th, 2013 | Lindsay Burkholder

Posted on 02/11/2013 8:58:49 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo

Georgia state lawmakers are once again contesting their border with Tennessee in an effort to siphon Tennessee water across the state line.

The Georgia General Assembly began work on a resolution earlier this month which, if passed, would lead to a proposal to Tennessee government: You give us access to the Tennessee River at Nickajack Lake, and we'll acknowledge the current boundary as the official border.

Tennessee lawmakers are dismissive of the latest ploy in Georgia's ongoing quest to tap into the river.

"I don't think anyone's taking it seriously," said Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga.

But for Georgians, it's a matter of honor. The current boundary does not reflect the line agreed upon in 1818 when Georgia handed over the territory to the federal government, a line which would have given Georgia rights to the river.

"There's no question that the grant from the state of Georgia to the U.S. government was clearly stated as the 35th parallel," said Georgia state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, "and there's no question that what is currently identified as the state line is not the 35th parallel."

Why dispute a line that's almost two hundred years old? The answer lies in Georgia's ongoing water woes. As metropolitan Atlanta's population continues to grow, so does its demand for water.

"There's literally not enough water, no matter how much you conserve," said Bethel. "We're going to have to secure more water."

While there have been initiatives to build reservoirs and conserve rainwater, many believe the best answer lies in the waters of the Tennessee River.

"It would be a big help to the Georgia water problem," said Georgia state Rep. John Deffenbaugh, R-Lookout Mountain, whose Dade County district sits right on the part of the line most in question.

Georgia has submitted proposals like this before, but with one key difference. They wanted the original state line to be honored in full. This new resolution would allow for a mile and half long strip that follows the 35th parallel, just enough for access to the river. The line would then return to the current boundary.

But McCormick doesn't foresee the boundary being moved at all.

"We don't intend to move our state line to make Georgia have easier access to water," he said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns the tract of land in question, is awaiting the states' decisions before it becomes involved, according to TVA spokeswoman Gail Rymer.

"We're aware of the recent action taken by the Georgia General Assembly. As this is an issue between Georgia and Tennessee, we will continue to monitor the discussion between the states as this moves forward," she said.


TOPICS: US: Georgia; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: georgia; tennessee
War Between the States
1 posted on 02/11/2013 8:58:51 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Nickajack Cove, the source of contention:


2 posted on 02/11/2013 9:02:15 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

I think this one was covered on “How the states got their shapes”. Its less than 200 yards if I recall.


3 posted on 02/11/2013 9:05:01 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

I just checked it out on Google maps. It’s like 100 feet from the Georgia border.

Looks like Georgia is basically arguing that inacruacies of setting where the 35th paralel is should be fixed - 200 years after the fact. Good luck with that.


4 posted on 02/11/2013 9:12:47 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

Georgia has a HUGE source of water available to them. It’s called ‘the Atlantic Ocean’. If water is so important to them then desalinate it.


5 posted on 02/11/2013 9:14:19 AM PST by MeganC (Liberals fool people by walking upright.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cuban leaf
Missed it by that much.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
6 posted on 02/11/2013 9:14:29 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

Yup.


7 posted on 02/11/2013 9:17:17 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

Last time I checked, Georgia has access to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s called REVERS OSMOSIS filtration gumbas!


8 posted on 02/11/2013 9:18:15 AM PST by Freeport (The proper application of high explosives will remove all obstacles.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

Alabama almost got it too.


9 posted on 02/11/2013 9:18:57 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

They’ve also been trying to take all the water from the Chattahoochee for decades.


10 posted on 02/11/2013 9:33:30 AM PST by 6ppc (It's torch and pitchfork time)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

Fortunately for Alabama, the Tennessee River runs through the Northern portion of the state. As someone who lives near the river, I hope Tennessee fights tooth and nail to keep Georgia from siphoning this water to Atlanta.


11 posted on 02/11/2013 9:33:52 AM PST by kosciusko51 (Enough of "Who is John Galt?" Who is Patrick Henry?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: cuban leaf
Most of the boundaries were set by law and agreed to by adjoining parties well after the original surveys. And while the parallel might have been the intention, the legal descriptions follow the route of the original survey as close as possible. Remember....a parallel is a curved line.

Only a boundary agreement can change an existing boundary. There are special rules for meanders. Need more info.

12 posted on 02/11/2013 9:35:30 AM PST by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

I’m a greedy Michigan waterbaron so I’d dig that cove to within 6 inches of Georgia just to taunt them.


13 posted on 02/11/2013 9:35:48 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

IIRC, Texas is going through this water rights stuff all the time. Meanders are nasty.


14 posted on 02/11/2013 9:37:48 AM PST by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

All your water are belong to us!


15 posted on 02/11/2013 9:39:54 AM PST by Carl from Marietta
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

Great! Just what we need; Atlanta to continue to grow into an even bigger libtard relocation center than it ever was. The city of Atlanta now sucks the life out of the rest of the 5 county Metro area. Its a sea of blue in a red state.


16 posted on 02/11/2013 9:39:54 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM444J_GA_TN_State_Border_US411


17 posted on 02/11/2013 9:42:04 AM PST by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

The story cites the need for water in Atlanta...would water from here really make its way to Atlanta? Without being pumped over several mountains?


18 posted on 02/11/2013 9:42:21 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau

This whole thing reminds me of what I learned back in 1980 in commercial real estate: The more money that is at stake, the more likely people are going to try to find some weak and hetherto unknown interpretation of law to get their hooks into it. In this case, money=water.

Imagine selling a part of your property to someone and, after agreeing to the exact location of the property line and two days after the sale is complete, your new neighbor digs up a chest with 50 lbs of gold in it two feet on his side of the property line?

Many people would desperately attempt to make a case that either the sale was not final or the property line was not quite right. Frankly, many do that sort of thing and end up with courts giving them a pound or six of the gold. Happens all the time.

The book, The Testament, is an excellent example of just that.


19 posted on 02/11/2013 9:42:55 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: cuban leaf

http://www.profsurv.com/magazine/article.aspx?i=70857


20 posted on 02/11/2013 9:51:49 AM PST by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: kosciusko51

Why would it matter to you one way or the other? A pipeline’s flow of water would not and could not ever make a smidgen’s worth of difference in the flow and water level of the Tennessee River. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was created in 1933 to build a tremendous set of dams along it’s length to prevent yearly massive floods. Anyone upset about a pipeline has reasons other than the water.

It would be like getting all worked up over siphoning water from an Olympic-sized pool with an IV tube. And doing so when the pool is constantly being over-filled with a new supply of water.

Go to court and have them force both states to put the line where it was supposed to be.

The story is that the line was mis-set by a “surveying error.” What a damned incompetent fool that guy must have been. Assuming he wasn’t paid off by someone who wanted settle an old score or some such.


21 posted on 02/11/2013 10:57:29 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: citizen

Water rights will be a big issue in the near future. You say the flow would be small now, but that is what a lot of people in CA outside of LA thought when they sold water rights to LA. I don’t want to see the same mistake happen twice. I don’t want to see Atlanta growing unchecked like LA, and then siphon off more and more water from the TVA.


22 posted on 02/11/2013 11:08:26 AM PST by kosciusko51 (Enough of "Who is John Galt?" Who is Patrick Henry?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Georgia Girl 2

Reminds me of the coastal cities of California preying upon the rest of the state. Voted themselves water from outer regions.


23 posted on 02/11/2013 11:48:27 AM PST by Ozark Tom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: kosciusko51

I see your point for sure. In the instance you cited, LA and a lot of other places use all or almost all of the water from the Colorado RIver. But in this case, most of the water from the Tennessee River flows into the Ohio RIver and then into the Mississippi and on down to the Gulf of Mexico.

They have plenty of extra capacity. Whatever water is needed by all the users along the Tennessee River won’t be affected at all by another pipe drawing off a little of it, even it it was a 20’ diameter pipe. NY City pipes water a long distance through huge underground tunnels from somewhere upstate, maybe it’s the Finger Lakes, and they don’t go dry.


24 posted on 02/11/2013 11:58:03 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo
That's a lot of water in that thar picture and to think, we're only looking at the surface of it.
25 posted on 02/11/2013 12:20:52 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: MeganC
Georgia has a HUGE source of water available to them. It’s called ‘the Atlantic Ocean’. If water is so important to them then desalinate it.

I was on board a cruise ship a few years back and all fresh water aboard was from the ocean. Baths, showers, cooking, cleaning, on board pools, etc. That was water for 2,000 passengers,1,000 crew, for a week. They had their own desalination plant on board ship.

I've read that it's not economical but I suppose that depends on how thirsty you are.

26 posted on 02/11/2013 12:27:38 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Georgia Girl 2

Well, if there isn’t enough water in Atlanta, maybe some folks would move back north.

There is a lot of water around Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

In fact, they’re getting a lot more of the frozen white water in a couple of days.


27 posted on 02/11/2013 1:48:32 PM PST by oceanagirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Colonel Kangaroo

As they say out west: whiskey is for drinkin’, water is for fightin’.


28 posted on 02/11/2013 1:54:09 PM PST by Southern Partisan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: citizen; kosciusko51; Colonel Kangaroo; lacrew
A pipeline’s flow of water would not and could not ever make a smidgen’s worth of difference in the flow and water level of the Tennessee River.

I checked at the TVA website. At that point in the river, the average flow is about 1000 cu.ft/sec.

To move 1000 ft^3/sec, a 20-foot diameter pipeline would need to flow at a speed of 3.2 ft/sec = 191 ft/min = 2.17 mph.

Thus, a 20' dia. pipeline could easily take ALL the water out of the river at that point, sized with the proper pumps.

We Are talking about 7480 gallons/sec = 448,000 gpm, so it IS a significant volume. But not a real problem.

For example, in 2011 two pumping stations were set up near Omaha Nebraska for storm sewer pumping during the severe flooding that year. The first one pumped 100,000 gpm and was set up in one week. The second larger system was sized to pump 400,000 gpm.

So these two pumping stations, using a total of fifteen pumps of several different capacities and set up in a few weeks as a temporary system, could pump 500,000 gpm - enough to take ALL the water in the river at that point in Tennessee and pump it into Georgia.

Of course I haven't talked about the head required and other design issues to get the water to the Atlanta area.

The river at that point in Tennessee is about 634 ft above sea level. Lake Lanier which supplies Atlanta with water, is about 1074 feet ASL. And the lowest ridge-line "pass" between the two looks like it will be at least 1500 ft ASL, but tunneling might help with this.

So clearly there is a lot more design work to do than just pump capacity and pipeline diameter, BUT it could clearly be done. All it is, is a few more details.

Proper engineering is all it takes... :-)

29 posted on 02/11/2013 2:36:30 PM PST by muffaletaman (IMNSHO - I MIGHT be wrong, but I doubt it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Southern Partisan

Alabama and Florida are locked in a battle over the water drawn from the Chattahoochee River in ATL.

As a previous poster noted, it has been going on for decades. Florida and Alabama contend that the Corps of Engineers built the lakes for hydro power, not drinking water. Last I heard it is tied up in Federal Court.


30 posted on 02/11/2013 2:57:39 PM PST by Southern Partisan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: muffaletaman

Looking at the Google map, the river has a dam in it, right at this location. I’m not sure what that means for the flow rate. I actually can’t find any TVA information near there...but the USGS shows alot more flow than that in some of the smaller streams tributary to the TN River.

Anyway, 1,000 cfs seems low. The river is around 1,500 feet wide where it is narrow at the bottom of the dam...I don’t know the depth, but there are locks...so I assume at least 7 feet for barges. Using a rectangular channel, that’s 10,500 sf cross section...so to attain 1,000 cfs, the river would be moving at 0.1 fps...or less than 0.1 mph.

And think about it - you propose a 20 ft diameter pipe....flowing at 2 miles per hour. Certainly the river flows at least 2 miles per hour....and it is orders of magnitude bigger than a 20 ft dia pipe.

So, I’d say it would take more than a few pumps to drain the TN River. But its ok. Atlanta uses 440 million gallons a day...or 680 cfs, so the river can certainly supply Atlanta.

But intuitively, if the hydro-electric dam harnesses the full flow of the river in a 50 ft drop...and the water has to be pumped a hundred miles and be lifted 400 feet....it would take a couple of these power plants just to lift the water. Assuming you supply all of Atlanta with water from the TN River, a quick back of the envelope calculation is 74,000 kwh...at around $0.15, that’s $11,100 a day (totally ignoring friction losses btw) or over four million dollars a year in electrical costs. If you only supply Atlanta with 25% of its water, its $1 million...etc.

Anyway, Atlanta must be in dire straights, if pumping water from the river is being considered.

About the dam: It looks like a hydro-electric dam...what I find curious is that the TVA seems to have very deliberately set the dam height such that the river did not back up into Georgia. That’s probably because the TVA only owned or controlled property on the TN side...I bet Georgians wish there had been a little bit of negotiation when that happened.


31 posted on 02/11/2013 3:59:59 PM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: lacrew
Just to be clear, I was commenting on what someone said earlier. I didn't propose the 20' pipeline diameter.

They said A pipeline’s flow of water would not and could not ever make a smidgen’s worth of difference in the flow and water level of the Tennessee River.

...Whatever water is needed by all the users along the Tennessee River won’t be affected at all by another pipe drawing off a little of it, even it it was a 20’ diameter pipe. NY City pipes water a long distance through huge underground tunnels from somewhere upstate, maybe it’s the Finger Lakes, and they don’t go dry.

BUT the flow number I cited was NOT correct. My mistake, sorry. I looked at the wrong station pin based on the TVA map view, and it was just a tributary.

The Tennessee River at Chattanooga is flowing about 18,500 ft^3/min.

http://www.lawrencevilleweather.com/wx.php?forecast=riversobs&gauge=CHAT1

So with this, everything else is moot, except...

The fact that Georgia IS looking to get access to the river means that the cost of pumping would be tolerable.

About the dam: It looks like a hydro-electric dam...what I find curious is that the TVA seems to have very deliberately set the dam height such that the river did not back up into Georgia. That’s probably because the TVA only owned or controlled property on the TN side...I bet Georgians wish there had been a little bit of negotiation when that happened.

I bet you are 100% right on that. Almost certainly done to NOT get Georgia involved.

But there would need to be a fair difference in elevation. It looks like you would need at least six feet or so higher (based on the elevations in the drainage on Google Earth), and that cove on Nickajake Lake would cross Huckabee Lane and be in Georgia.

Making a dam six or more feet taller would not have been a trivial extra expense. AND maybe there were other elevation issues elsewhere that made the choice cut and dried.. It's be interesting to find out the story behind the dam height design.

Of course, if Georgia did get water rights, excavating a canal from the cove to an empoundment and water pumping station in Georgia would be no big deal at all.

By the way, the new underground water tunnel they are making for NYC has a largest diameter of 24' in certain sections.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_Water_Tunnel_No._3

32 posted on 02/11/2013 5:35:03 PM PST by muffaletaman (IMNSHO - I MIGHT be wrong, but I doubt it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: lacrew

Just checked.

Atlanta used 320 million gallons per day in 1990, and 420M gallons per day in 2000. They are projected to go to 700M gallons per day by 2020.

700M gallons = 93,576,389 ft^3 / day = 1083 ft^3/sec. About what that one stream was flowing, and about 6% of what the Tennessee river was flowing per that CHAT1 gauge.

AND of course they are already getting by at 400 million, so they only need 300M more incrementally.

So maybe a 8’ to 12’ pipeline would do. Still have some lifting to do to get over the ridges though.

:-)


33 posted on 02/11/2013 6:40:47 PM PST by muffaletaman (IMNSHO - I MIGHT be wrong, but I doubt it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: muffaletaman

I trust all your math but your starting value seems low according to the TVA data reported for the flow through the Nickajack Dam.

A thousand cubic feet/second isn’t all that much volume for a large river, so I checked and I see this:

(DAY) 2/12/2013 (TIME) 2am (DISCHARGE) 105,287*

*Discharges are in cubic feet per second and are reported at the end of the hour.

Note that this reported volume is the water flowing through the Nickajack Dam at a given time which may be more or less than the flow of the river at that same time.

Having thought more about it, though, I can see that removing water from the river system could deplete it more than I first thought. The amount probably would not equal a 20 foot diameter pipe (I’m just guessing) because all that is needed is to supplement the existing water supply into the Atlanta system. However, the problem is that no treated water would be returned to the Tennessee River system, as is the case with the Chattahoochee River that receives its water from Lake Lanier and runs through Atlanta.

I figure that Chattanooga, TN gets it’s water from the Tennessee River but then later it returns part of it to the river system in the form of treated wastewater.


34 posted on 02/12/2013 8:31:10 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: lacrew
That’s probably because the TVA only owned or controlled property on the TN side...I bet Georgians wish there had been a little bit of negotiation when that happened.

From wikipedia,
At various points since the early 19th century, Georgia has disputed its northern border with Tennessee. In 1796, when Tennessee was admitted to the Union, the border was originally defined by United States Congress as located on the 35th parallel, thereby ensuring that at least a portion of the river would be located within Georgia. As a result of an erroneously conducted survey in 1818 (ratified by the Tennessee legislature, but not Georgia), however, the actual border line was set on the ground approximately one mile south, thus placing the disputed portion of the river entirely in Tennessee.

Also, according to this article:
http://www.ajc.com/news/ap/environment/georgia-lawmakers-eye-tennessee-water/nWLfQ/ "But for Georgians, it's a matter of honor. The current boundary does not reflect the line agreed upon in 1818 when Georgia handed over the territory to the federal government [for the creation of the TVA], a line which would have given Georgia rights to the river.

"There's no question that the grant from the state of Georgia to the U.S. government was clearly stated as the 35th parallel," said Georgia state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, "and there's no question that what is currently identified as the state line is not the 35th parallel."

35 posted on 02/12/2013 8:52:56 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: citizen

I’ve got a hunch you’re from Georgia.

I don’t doubt that Georgia is correct in their claim...but extrapolating adverse possession claims to the state level, Georgia has witnessed Tennessee’s open use of the land for over 15 years (almost two centuries). TN has ‘claimed’ the land as their own - extracted resources, built roads, police protection, weed control, you name it...and Georgia has not protested until recently.

In fact, the claim that its been clear since the very beginning only makes it worse for Georgia...since the typically insurmountable obstacle in an adverse possession claim is that the original owner had to be aware of the trespass for at least 15 years.

I think Georgia is going to lose out.

And even if they somehow prevailed with TN, I suspect the TVA and the USACE have the last say in how much water is taken from that river....since its for navigation and power. I hope Atlanta has a Plan ‘B’.


36 posted on 02/12/2013 10:00:41 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: lacrew

The incorrectly surveyed line has been disputed throughout but perhaps with not much vigor. Perhaps lawsuits were filed and the suits were lost or dismissed or whatever, I don’t know. However, “If at first you don’t succeed....”

I would like to know “the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey would have said, behind how a registered (I assume) land surveyor made such a significant error. Tradesmen of that day were generally well above average in their appitude and thus in their chosen profession. So, I suspect he either wrongly set the line of his own accord for some reason or was induced to (bribed) by a third party.


37 posted on 02/12/2013 10:29:56 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson