Monday, February 04, 2008

Geographical Error Leads to Georgia's Water Shortage

A big debate in the American South right now is Georgia water's shortage. Lack of rain combined with very bad practices (Atlanta's golf courses use untold amounts of water just to keep the fairways green everyday) have led to water shortages throughout the state. Debates on Capitol Hill have routinely boiled down to Georgia complaining that Tennessee, South Carolina, or Alabama will not share extra water.

Better geographical skills back in 1818 may have solved this current problem. The surveyor for the government, James Camak, used obsolete tools to map the Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee border. Errors done by Camak placed the border for Georgia over a mile south of where it should have been. The border change denied Georgia access to the Tennessee River. The river's water could today alleviate much of Georgia's shortage. (For more read: Geography Matters, The American Surveyor Magazine, and Professional Surveyor Magazine)

Water and human's access to it are big issues today in geography. Domestically the Colorado River is a concern. Mountain states are battling California and Nevada over how much is taken. Dams and plans have been designed to try to balance different demands. California needs the water for growth as does Las Vegas, a city never meant to exist geographically. Such engineering has been done that the once muddy, warm waters never the Grand Canyon are now clear and cold. Internationally debates over the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River have Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority at each other's necks constantly.


SignaVeritae said...

That's amazing...

Anonymous said...

Technically, Atlanta has not reason for existing in a geographic sense either. It was built at the intersection of railroad lines, and is the only major US city not on river (or something like that)