Skip to comments.Georgia lawmakers eye Tennessee water again
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.
I think this one was covered on “How the states got their shapes”. Its less than 200 yards if I recall.
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.
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.
Last time I checked, Georgia has access to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s called REVERS OSMOSIS filtration gumbas!
Alabama almost got it too.
They’ve also been trying to take all the water from the Chattahoochee for decades.
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.
Only a boundary agreement can change an existing boundary. There are special rules for meanders. Need more info.
I’m a greedy Michigan waterbaron so I’d dig that cove to within 6 inches of Georgia just to taunt them.
IIRC, Texas is going through this water rights stuff all the time. Meanders are nasty.
All your water are belong to us!
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.
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?
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.