The river that wraps around and defines the eastern border of Cobb County trails only the Potomac in the mid-Atlantic and the Green in the West among threatened rivers, the nonprofit advocacy group said in releasing its annual top 10 list.
The 'Hooch is the only river south of the Potomac on the list, and American Rivers says it's in danger of becoming a victim of war—the among Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
New dams and reservoirs to supply drinking water threaten to make the river run dry, American Rivers says. The group calls on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny permits for new reservoirs, particularly the Glades Reservoir upstream of us and the Bear Creek Reservoir downstream.
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“These dams are being sold as critical water supply projects, but they have always been planned as amenity lakes to benefit private landowners,” Sally Bethea, the executive director of Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, said in the American rivers press release. "When one considers the inflated water supply demands that are based on unrealistic population growth scenarios, and price tags in the hundreds of millions at a time when local governments are struggling, these projects are sham water planning efforts that will benefit a small group of private landowners at the expense of taxpayers and the environment."
American Rivers and its allies want conservation and water supply efficiency to take precedence over reservoirs, which, as Canton has found, can lead to bill-busting expenses.
The Chattahoochee, through the Quarles Water Treatment Plant, is one of the two major source of drinking water to the Northeast Cobb-based Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, which supplies the . The other is Lake Allatoona, part of the Etowah River Basin, through Wyckoff Water Treatment Plant.
In addition to the long-term supply of clean water, American Rivers says the reservoir projects threaten the 'Hooch's great trout fishing, which earned it the designation as the first National Water Trail.
“Consistent, cold, clean, in-stream flows are required to sustain this unique urban fishery,” said Kevin McGrath, the president of the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
The 'Hooch also made American Rivers' endangered list in 1996, 1998 and 2000 for threats related to development, sewage, water withdrawals and dams.
"We hope citizens will join us to ensure a healthy Chattahoochee River and secure water supply for generations to come,” American Rivers' Jenny Hoffner said.