As governor of Georgia, I will not transfer one ounce of water from the Savannah River water basin to meet the demands of another Georgia region. I will not rob Peter to pay Paul.
The counties of east Georgia have long fought against interbasin transfers for fear that their water in the Savannah River basin would be used to feed growing water needs in the metro Atlanta region. I concur with the people of east Georgia that they must have a reliable water supply for their own economic growth, and I would not support any efforts that would divert north Georgia headwaters of the Savannah River.
All Georgians benefit from the economic engine that metro Atlanta supplies our state. We need metro Atlanta to thrive, but the only way to ensure Atlanta's water supply is through responsible use, conservation efforts and a final resolution of the "water war" with Alabama and Florida.
I've been intricately involved in these negotiations for many years, and I'll work hard as governor to sign a long-term agreement that assures Georgia's future growth.
Recent headlines and editorials in east Georgia stated that I and other candidates support interbasin transfers that would threaten east Georgia's water supply. Not true. At a recent forum, I discussed how some Georgia counties straddle two basins and transfer water between them for local use. Today, 25 Georgia communities do this. I simply referred to that current reality. I would never as governor allow a local government to use interbasin transfers for the purpose of sending water downstream to accommodate growth in another region.
I have a specific plan for economic development for east Georgia, and this important region of our state will keep the water supply it needs to grow.
If I have the honor of serving as governor, I'll work day and night to end the "water war" we're fighting - and to make sure we don't start a new one.
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