How To Quench Atlanta's Growing Thirst

A severe water shortage is threatening Atlanta, and critics blame the region's unchecked growth as a primary cause for the its current predicament.

"Few places embody growth in the Atlanta area better these days than tiny Forsyth County, 28 miles northeast of the downtown. Forsyth has experienced the fifth-fastest growth spurt in the country over the past decade, making it the fastest-growing suburb of the nation's fastest-growing city."

"The breakneck speed with which this area is changing from poultry farms to bedroom communities is the result of the build-now approach that has long defined growth in Atlanta, say local officials, planners and environmentalists."

"Growth has created wealth and opportunities for Forsyth County, but it also has stoked conflicts - over roads, over tax revenues and especially over water.

The state of Georgia is locked in a war with its neighbors over how much water should remain in Lake Lanier and how much should be released downstream from the dam that stands on Forsyth County's eastern border. Environmentalists are at odds with developers and public officials over policies that they say harm the streams. Forsyth County residents are chafing under a system that forces them to buy water from the county seat, Cumming, rather than pull it out of the lake directly."

Full Story: Georgia boom county offers cautionary tale

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