US Department Of Interior Secretary Calls Atlanta Drought "No Longer A Theory"
US Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has reported on a compromise between three Southern US Governors who had been struggling over diminished access to shared surface waters. The language used to report this progress indicates a small Federal role in inter-state water resource management, going forward, with the Governors taking the lead. That's no surprise.
However, it will definitely come as a surprise to the folks spray painting their lawns green, and to the toilet flushing assistants at the University of Georgia, that their extreme drought was considered a "theory." Maybe the Secretary's allusion to "theory" was more about denying any causal link to human-induced climate change. We'll never know. But, that sure was an odd choice of language.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed on Thursday reducing the flow of water from Georgia rivers into Alabama and Florida in a bid to resolve a tussle among the three states over water use during a drought.
The states will also work on a fresh plan for the corps on how to respond to the drought, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne told a news conference that followed a meeting of the governors of the three southeastern states...
"It's no longer theory. There is a drought in the South. It is also important to recognize that the solution can and will come from the governors," he told a Washington news conference relayed via telephone.
The Washington meeting was the first opportunity for all three states to discuss the issue after weeks of acrimony and all three welcomed the plan, which they said was not enough of a reduction to hurt downstream activity...Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said later all three governors had agreed to resolve their dispute by February 15, 2008...
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist had previously said he strongly opposed reducing the flow, in part because it would threaten fisheries in Florida's northwestern Panhandle region.
Riley has also opposed cutting the flow, arguing it could inhibit cooling at the Farley nuclear plant in southeastern Alabama that serves homes in all three states.