Recent photos of Lake Lanier in North Georgia showed bare dirt where boats once docked. Down at Lake Immonia, just across the Florida line off U.S. 319, one can drive a truck off the boat ramp and then the length of a football field before reaching water. And crossing the Tallapoosa River in North Alabama, one can view boats sitting in the sand, and docks that have no water lapping around their pilings.
Water is such a premium in Clarke County, Ga., that there are signs at Samford Stadium at the University of Georgia asking restroom users not to flush.
Such scenes depict the worst drought the South has known in many years. Relative to those conditions, tensions are tightening between North and South Georgia over water resources, these matters also impacting Florida and Alabama.
Three decades ago, South Georgia was promoted as having an unlimited water supply. Now we know that isn’t the case as drought prevails and demands from agriculture, industry and residents increase.
Water supply is certainly a major issue and adjacent to that concern we should be made aware of the many environmental concerns in the big picture. Not just the amount of water, but its quality is a related issue. Air quality is part of this picture. Soil conservation is a factor. As well, land-use planning becomes crucial to these matters.
The water issue underlines the fact that we are all among the dots that are being connected. And we may come to know that we must all be environmentalists to some degree, despite negative connotations — such as "tree huggers—" often applied to the discourse.
Yes, there can be extremes in any issue. Go far enough right or far enough left and the results of those two extremes collide at the bottom of the circle. Somewhere in the middle we must hope that clear heads and common sense will help us survive the challenges that lie ahead.
We can no longer view adequate water supplies as a given. We must not take such for granted. And when there is talk of environmental concerns, we will be more apt to listen as opposed to taking the position that God will handle all of this for us — one of those aforementioned extremes — though we might certainly want to call upon Him for increased wisdom to meet these challenges.
Keep in mind that we are all connected to these problems, and as time goes by, we must all be connected to the solutions. Opportunities for doing our part will become more evident.
Whoever thought there would be signs that asked us not to flush?
- The Moultrie Observer