But an Army Corps of Engineers official denied there is a water crisis.
Perdue, who signed an executive order Saturday, asked for President Bush’s help in easing regulations that require the state to send water downstream to Alabama and Florida.
He also asked the president to declare 85 counties as federal disaster areas.
Perdue blasted what he called the “silly rules” governing the water supplies, noting that even if the state got replenishing rains, it could not by law conserve those, but must release 3.2 billion gallons a day downstream.
“The actions of the Corps of Engineers and Fish and Wildlife Service are not only irresponsible, I believe they’re downright dangerous and Georgia cannot stand for this negligence,” Perdue said.
The Army Corps of Engineers, however, presented a different assessment.
If there were nine months without rain, water supplies still would be adequate, said Maj. Daren Payne, the Army Corps’ deputy commander for the Mobile, Alabama, District.
The corps sent a letter to Perdue assessing the situation and pointing out that they are “not going to run out [of water] any time soon,” Payne said.
The corps — under an agreement reached in the 1980s with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state and downstream users — releases 5,000 feet of water per second from the dam between Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River.
The figure was based on a Florida hydroelectric power plant’s needs, as well as concern for endangered species in the river, including mussels and sturgeon.
On Friday, Georgia filed a motion seeking to require the Army Corps of Engineers to restrict water flows from the lake and other north Georgia reservoirs. Watch Gov. Perdue blast a “disaster of federal bureaucracy”
The corps said it needs 120 days to review its water policies, according to Perdue.
The Bush administration has been in contact with the Georgia congressional delegation on the matter, the White House said Saturday afternoon
“We have already begun drafting interim rules to … address the endangered species requirements, and the Army Corps has started the process of revising the operations manual for the river basin,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.
Rainfall in north Georgia, which includes the Atlanta metropolitan area, is far below normal for this time of year.
- North Dakota Citizen Corps Council Named as National Citizen Corps Achievement …
- Feds sued over north-south water transfer plan
- Iowa Governor Says Immediate Danger has Passed After 'Catastrophic' Dam Break
- Iowa Governor Says Immediate Danger has Passed After 'Catastrophic …
- Get a Kit, Give a Kit Campaign Launched at Inaugural Prepare Georgia Summit