Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Atlanta: "it's too late to pray when the sun is shining if you didn't pray when it was raining."

Concerning this post about over-consumption and feeling thankful, in which I attributed a quote to Cannonball Adderly, as remembered from an overpriced greeting card I saw in Asheville years ago, a friend in Atlanta sent a correction:

I think I located the source of the quote you told me about at Wikipedia.

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.
Satchel Paige
New York Post, 4 October 1959.

OK, I'm embarrassed to have gotten it so wrong.

This friend, who lives in Atlanta, GA, spotted my beloved quote in an article about their local government short-sightedly making no preparations as the water level in Lake Lanier, the only water source for the huge city, sank lower and lower - they kept hoping the rains would finally come. This "hoping" policy worked in past droughts - the rains eventually came and bailed them out.

Thus were they able to postpone any discussion of, or painful attempts to confront, their chronic water problem. And due to the frenetic development pace Atlanta is so proud of, well - every year thousands more people and irrigation systems are sucking water out of that beleaguered reservoir.

The rains haven't come, the drought gets more and more historic every day. Now Atlanta's water has sunk to the level of the reservoir's intake pipe. A couple days ago the Army Corps of Engineers estimated: "The top third of the lake may be gone in as little as 79 days."

I think I remember reading: the proposed solution, as the water level drops, is to add more chemicals. The "dead zone" they'll soon be sucking from contains a lot of dead plants and animals. "It will be perfectly safe to drink," they assure the public.

The Army Corps of Engineers further estimates the entire lake could be dry in less than a year.

Things aren't better here in North Carolina. We get 1/10 of an inch from time to time. Farmers are slaughtering their animals because there's no hay.

I guess we'll all just keep turning on the taps and using up the water till we turn on the taps one day and nothing comes out.



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