The next portion of the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study is officially underway after Wednesday’s Bi-State Savannah River Basin Caucus meeting and signing ceremony.
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley were in attendance at the meeting.
They were accompanied by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah River District Commander Colonel Thomas J. Tickner.
Speaking at the joint signing, Governor Deal stressed the importance of continued cooperation between the states.
“We value your friendship. We value your cooperation. And we truly believe that both states that we represent have the opportunity to take advantage of what has been provided to us by God and by nature and that is the great Savannah River and the Basin that surrounds it,” Deal said. “But we know that in order to do that, we have to preserve it. We have to protect it, and we have to be responsible with the resources that have been allocated to us.”
Governor Haley said despite completion in some areas between the two states, that she agreed cooperation is vital.
“When you look at the water issues that we’re both dealing with in both states, the reason why I so appreciate you all getting together now is that we don’t need to wait until we have a crisis to deal with it,” Haley said. “What we do need to do is have a business plan; always knowing that we are ready for whatever happens to either one of our states, knowing that when one state is in need, the other is going to be there.”
Representing Elbert County, along with the rest of State District 33rd, State Representative Tom McCall was present at the ceremony, and said it was good for Colonel Tickner to hear from both sides regarding economic issues.
“He heard first hand from both side of the river about the economic development problems when the lake levels are low, and how good it is when the lake levels are full”, said McCall. “When you can get two governors and all those power brokers to come to rural Georgia, especially our part of rural Georgia, it’s a really good thing.”
The next portion of the Savannah River Basin Comprehensive Study is expected to take around eighteen months to complete.
Once that study is completed, changes are expected to be recommended concerning the drought plan in the Savannah River Basin.