Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Perfect Storm

What happens when a city of 3 million people runs out of the worlds most precious commodity? We are poised to find out in the next few months as Atlanta, Georgia stands on the edge of an ever shrinking water supply. Within 3 months their main source of water, Lake Lanier may well be tapped out and the drought they are currently experiencing will become a full blown catastrophe, as the taps run dry.

Government, in the form of the Corps of Engineers isn't making things any better, either. They have released billions of gallons of water by "accident", (read "incompetence") that would have supplied Atlanta for almost a month and a half. The have also been releasing water to help "endangered" mussels downstream. While releasing enough water to insure power plant operations seems logical I cannot help but wonder what's going to happen to that plant once the water is gone.

What we have here is a perfect storm situation. Running out of water with no hopes of reservoir renewal in the near future. The normal dry season coming on during the drought. And 3 million people, businesses and industry waiting to see what happens.

What will these people do, if the water runs out? You can't truck in the kind of water that would be necessary even for basic survival to a city that large. Could we see a new diaspora, featuring the water starved denizens of Atlanta? Where would they go? What impact would the rest of the country be looking at should this occur? It's certain that, should it occur it will not be pretty and the current regime in DC, as well as the state of Georgia will be incapable of handling such a monumental disaster.

I, for one will be keeping an eye on this one. If things play out to the worst case it will be interesting to see what occurs, to say the least. Will the government continue to make the situation worse? Or will they come to their senses and place the lives of humans above that of some bivalve? Will the bureaucracy manage to destroy a city and its people? Or will these poor folks manage to pull out of their slide? Inquiring minds DO want to know.

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