Two Local State Representatives Form Water Caucus

February 22, 2013

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia


State Representatives Alan Powell and Tom McCall have formed a caucus of State lawmakers they hope will force some changes in how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the Savannah River water basin.

The group met February 12th for the first time in Augusta to discuss goals and share ideas.

Powell said the main purpose of the caucus is to get federal lawmakers involved.

Powell said they hope to appeal to all of the Georgia Congressman, and the two U.S. Senators from Georgia.

He said South Carolina lawmakers are looking at forming their own caucus.

“Our counterparts on the South Carolina side I understand might be trying to put together a similar caucus,” Powell said Monday. “Then we would have a multi-state caucus that could force some change because the issues we’re concerned about on the Georgia side are the same issues they’re concerned about on the South Carolina side.”

One of the issues discussed last week, according to Powell is the problem of inter-basin water transfers.

Powell said legislation he and McCall put forth several years ago has largely stopped the Atlanta Metro Water Authority from being able to tap into the Savannah River Basin or the Tennessee River.

However, he said it’s a different story in South Carolina where water is being taken out of the Savannah River and sent to Greenville and Greenwood.

Powell said the caucus plans to meet weekly.