Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mind over Mussels

Well, lake Lanier, Georgia is heading for historic low levels while building continues unabated for new home, condos and businesses in and around Atlanta. For those of you who may not understand the connection, Lake Lanier is the main (read only) source of water for most of the Metro-Atlanta area. Of course as Paul Harvey likes to say, there is a rest of the story.

It seems there are two species of nearly extinct mussel and one species of fish that are on the endangered species list. These nearly extinct critters are why the Corps of Engineers says they need to maintain the high flow rates out of Buford Dam on Lake Lanier, flows so high that they are releasing nearly twice as much water as is coming into the lake from other sources. And the hard science these flow rates were based on? It doesn’t exist, but of course the fact that the flow helps keep a small coal fired power plant operating that provides power that the Corps would have to buy somewhere else might have a bit to do with it.

Of course the Corps has not been known for wise management decisions, it seems every year they plan on a huge storm season which never quite develops. In the Corps managed resources in central Florida where my father and brother live, lakes are also at an all time low, thanks to Corps mismanagement and over releasing.

Finally, now that it may be too late to prevent draconian measures, a study is being done to determine if those pesky mussels and fish really need all that water. Of course Atlanta and Georgia aren’t blameless. As I said above the governments of the various communities seem hell bent on cutting down every possible tree and growing houses, businesses and apartment complexes even though they strain already maxed out infrastructures and resources. Commute times of 2-3 hours to go less than 30 miles are becoming common place and water rationing is just around the corner.

I am afraid without a moratorium on new construction, more oversight on the Corps of Engineers and a lot more common sense Atlanta and points south down river are in for a rough, and dry, ride.