Chattanooga, Tennessee has no water restrictions, and this fact has many in the Southern U.S. projecting it to be a new focal point for economic development -- especially from businesses and industries forced to leave drought-stricken Atlanta
There are no outdoor watering restrictions in Chattanooga. A large fountain near downtown shoots water high into the air. Restaurants serve water without being asked. People can wash their cars when they want. Things are humming at the Tennessee Aquarium.
Contrast that with Atlanta, where virtually all outdoor water use is banned. Officials have warned that the water supply could be exhausted in 80 days. Diners have to request water in restaurants, and some residents stockpile water. The Georgia Aquarium emptied some of its exhibits to conserve water, and the iconic fountain at Centennial Olympic Park has been dry for weeks.
Some here say it all adds up to an edge for Chattanooga over Atlanta in the highly competitive arena of economic development.