Center's opinion on state water management published in Savannah Morning News.
"Georgia wastes too much water "
(Savannah Morning News, Sunday, August 23 - Opinion Page)

By David Kyler, Executive Director
Center for a Sustainable Coast
Saint Simons Island, Georgia

Our media is burdened with rafts of political bluster aimed at the tri-state water wars. Evidently, all the hot air has diminished our capacity for common sense.

Taking rational steps in industrial water conservation is essential if we intend to get serious about water management. For instance, even after a decline in the paper industry, tens of millions of gallons a day are still being used in Georgia just by that one industrial activity.

Compounding that is the push for wasteful expansion of heat-intensive energy production using fossil fuels and nuclear materials. Such power plants vaporize tens of millions of gallons taken from Georgia's rivers daily for cooling operations, while state leadership treats waterless wind and solar power as radical alternatives - evidently because these energy sources threaten Southern Company profit centers.

Waterless power-producing alternatives are well proven throughout the world, where they've become major energy sources in the past ten years. Meanwhile, Georgians have been increasingly hamstrung by conventional energy technology.

Under a recent General Assembly action, Georgians will be forced to pay, in advance, for extremely expensive expansion of Plant Vogtle which will remove millions of gallons of water a day from the already over-stressed Savannah River.

Likewise, new coal plants are routinely green-lighted by state authorities without concern for their enormous claims on public waters.

We must demand accountability in determining who uses our water and who profits from it. Objective assessment of all viable alternatives for conserving and using water - above all energy production - is vital in this endeavor.

DAVID KYLER, Center for a Sustainable Coast, St. Simons Island
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