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Water Contingency Task Force Presents Final Recommendations

Tuesday, December 22, 2009  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

ATLANTA -- A statewide task force of business leaders, elected officials, community representatives and conservation organizations presented their final recommendations to Governor Sonny Perdue today for creating a contingency plan to address Georgia’s water issues if a federal judge’s ruling from this summer remains in effect in 2012.

“The task force has done a tremendous job of analyzing all possible options and providing fact-based feedback that will drive the decisions we make moving forward,” said Governor Perdue. “I am very appreciative of the commitment shown by the co-chairs, the time invested by task force members and the professional analysis provided pro bono by The Boston Consulting Group and the rest of the technical team. Their dedication will help us as we move forward to find solutions for Georgia.”

More than 80 business, environmental and government officials have been studying a long list of options since October, after Judge Paul Magnuson ruled that metro Atlanta’s use of Lake Lanier for drinking water would be reduced in 2012.

“We believe in a three part strategy - conserve, capture and control,” said John Brock, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises and co-chair of the Water Contingency Task Force. “There’s no single magic solution. We must conserve more water, capture the water we do receive, and control our water supplies through progressive water policies.”

On a separate track, Governor Perdue is pursuing a legal appeal, congressional action and negotiations with Florida and Alabama. But the job of the Water Contingency Task Force was to consider options if the judge’s ruling stands.

The final report reaffirms the gap cannot be closed between the water we have and the water we need by 2012 under the reduced withdrawals called for in the judge’s ruling. As Governor Perdue has said repeatedly, using Lake Lanier for water supply is our most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option. The thorough analysis of the different options, likely worth more than $2 million, was provided at no cost by The Boston Consulting Group and a team of expert engineering and consulting firms.

The task force found that if given additional time past the 2012 deadline, more options become available. These additional contingency options can be implemented by 2015 and 2020. Emergency solutions are extremely costly, but having a few more years gives more and better choices should the judge’s ruling stand.

The task force found metro Atlanta alone would take a $26 billion annual hit to its economy if no action is taken to address the judge’s ruling, causing a devastating ripple effect throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

“Our work is not over,” said Tim Lowe of Lowe Engineers and co-chair of the Water Contingency Task Force. “In fact, now an even more critical chapter begins. As the Georgia General Assembly convenes in January, we will continue to work with the Governor and elected officials as our recommendations are considered.”

More information and the full report from the Water Contingency Planning Task Force can be found on Governor Perdue’s website at,2096,78006749_154453222,00.html.


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