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Humans or mussels?

Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007, at 4:38 PM

Today's top story was about the water situation and how a small aquatic lifeform was holding up reducing the flow of water from Normandy Dam. This has frustrated those in the utility business to no end.

Well, we aren't the only one with this problem. This just came over the wires:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A united Georgia congressional delegation proposed legislation Tuesday that would suspend Endangered Species Act regulations over river flows during periods of extreme drought.

The bill would apply nationally, but for Georgia lawmakers is aimed at stopping the release of water from a major Atlanta water reservoir to protect threatened species of mussels and sturgeon downstream in Florida.

It will probably face strong resistance if it advances. But after a rare bipartisan meeting Monday, Georgia's lawmakers rallied around it as a "common sense" solution to the state's persistent drought.

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Moultrie said Georgia is at a critical point in its history. Its water is being restricted to "protect a handful of mussels and sturgeon," he said, leading people to wonder whether Congress cares more about animals than human beings.

"This is a crisis," added Rep. John Lewis, an Atlanta Democrat.

While Normandy supplies just 250,000 folks, there are 4 million people that would be impacted if no action is taken in this case.

The thing is, mussels don't get angry when they're thirsty and can't flush ... but people do. They also vote.

So do we say, forget the mussels and get that water to the people? Or are these bottom-dwelling non-sentient organisms more important than humans? FYI and discussion.

And please, let's keep it civil....

Showing most recent comments first
[Show in chronological order instead]

People in this country have minimal concept on the use of our natural resources, such as water. How much water is now being pulled from the Duck by Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Columbia, Centerville and whoever else? Did we plan for this, or do we automatically assume that water will be there at our beckoning? As the population in Middle Tennessee becomes more concentrated, water will be more precious. We need to plan for both mussels and folks.

-- Posted by Grit on Sat, Oct 20, 2007, at 12:14 PM

You're right eastsidemom, I had completely forgotten they eventually scrapped the whole project.

Snail darter 1-TVA 0

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 7:10 PM

This is nothing new. Remember the dam in Columbia? That pearly mussel has been a problem along the river for years.

I rarely miss reading the T-G on line, usually by 10 a.m. Y'all keep up the good work.

-- Posted by anniebmischief on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 1:11 PM

That is absurd! You can't deny humans water b/c mussels need it.

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Wed, Oct 17, 2007, at 7:40 AM

Actually Tim it was Columbia which was eventually scrapped.

As to the topic, why can't some of these mussels be moved to the fish hatchery or kept in a preserved environment somewhere and let the flow drop?

As a side note: Last week, even after we were already being asked to conserve water, I was at the park for football/cheerleading practice and guess what I saw--- They were running the sprinklers on one of the baseball fields that was obviously not being used since the grass was almost knee high. Shouldn't the city and the park system be held to the same standards and requirements as the rest of us?

-- Posted by EastSideMom on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 11:40 PM

The mussel must be a close relative of the snail darter. For some who are too young, the now famous snail darter held up construction of a TVA dam (possibly Normandy) for years in the 70's.

-- Posted by Tim Baker on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 9:42 PM

If it comes down to it, I'd rather not be extinct. That being said, and with no knowledge--is there any other water we can tap?

-- Posted by stardust on Tue, Oct 16, 2007, at 5:00 PM

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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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