Supply the Future
Our water supply and transfer campaign will work to protect Tennessee’s watersheds through interstate collaboration for equitable solutions regarding interbasin transfer. Phase 1 will launch in January 2005, intiating in the Greater Chattanooga area.
A growing southeastern population and economy, combined with recent drought conditions, has resulted in shortages to what were once ample water resources. As competing demands continue to increase both within the state and in bordering states, water has become a precious commodity. Large cities such as Atlanta are currently outgrowing their capacity to supply water to meet their development demands. As a result, many metropolitan areas seek water resources from outside their watershed. They have become interested in water resources from the Tennessee River Basin, withdrawn from the Chattanooga area. As water becomes the resource predicted to be the one that wars in this century will be fought over, it behooves us to become more involved in the decisions that affect our water supply.
Overall Goal – Phase 1
TCWN needs to fully understand the issues of interbasin water transfers as they occur in the Southeast. In order to do this, TCWN will meet with those most knowledgeable of the interbasin transfers in Alabama, Georgia and Florida. By taking the time to fully understand the issue as it unfolded in these states, to develop relationships with those involved in the Tri State Conservation Coalition, we will be able to learn from their victories as well as their mistakes. By developing a relationship with these groups we can call upon their assistance and guidance during the development of water transfers in Tennessee and potentially form an alliance with them.
Strategies – Phase 1
Lay the groundwork for establishing a coalition to address interbasin water transfer issues.
Meet with statewide organizations in Alabama and Georgia that address water resource issues and protect watersheds, such as the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Alabama Rivers Alliance, to determine their perspective and willingness to engage on this issue.
Partner with the University of Tennessee, Energy, Environment and Resources Center to engage the expertise and guidance of David Lewis Feldman Ph.D and Senior Research Scientist and interbasin water transfer expert and to enlist the support of students that are interested in interbasin water transfer issues.
Plan and hold one workshop for interested parties to learn the intricacies of interbasin water transfers. This workshop will focus on previous interbasin transfers from other states, outline the current situation in Tennessee and create recommendations for action to be implemented in Phase 2.
Phase 1 will lay the groundwork for a consensus-based approach to addressing water supply issues among a diverse set of stakeholders in the Tennessee River basin. The outcome will be a white paper that outlines the current situation, identifies potential issues facing interbasin water transfers, identifies partners in the coalition and provides recommendations and next steps that will guide Phase 2 of the program.