It may not be related to global warming, but some folks in Georgia probably have Al Gore on their minds. More than half the state is suffering through the worst drought ever, the governor is upset with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for not stopping the flow of Georgia reservoir water to Florida, and golf courses in the Peach State are starting to show the affects. By some estimates, the city of Atlanta has about three months of drinking water left.
I am staying north of Atlanta, near Lake Lanier, and the headlines in all the local papers are about how the lake has become dangerously low. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported today that Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has appealed to the U.S. Government for disaster relief and to stop the previously contracted flow of water from Lake Lanier to Florida, where it is needed to protect a population of endangered mussels. The governor and other legislators have gone after the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Fish and Wildlife for "putting mussels ahead of people."
I drove around the Royal Lakes Golf Club course today following a group of collegiate golfers who will participate in the Oglethorpe College Royal Lakes tournament Monday and Tuesday. The course, just a few miles from Lake Lanier, was surprisingly green, but the lakes were low, water having been pumped from them onto the course. Some brown patches are starting to show, especially on the higher sides of the sloping fairways where there is more runoff. So far, the greens remain green.
In the Journal-Constitution today, a letter to the editor took local state officials to task for continuing to water the state-run golf courses in lieu of more attention to "native areas of our parks [that] encourage people to get their recreation through hiking, walking, biking..."
The lines are being drawn, and here's hoping the rain promised in the next few days is enough to still the accusations and help the golf courses, and mussels, survive.