Alabama Governor Bob Riley visited Farley Nuclear Plant Thursday to outline the current water dispute between Georgia and Alabama.
Governor Riley made it clear why he felt the water flow on the Chattahoochee River means more to this region than some people might think.
Governor Riley said, “No one has the right to say this is all of our water. And, we're going to determine how it’s being used and what's the flow going to be; that's what the Corp of Engineers is there for.”
In 2003, governors of the tri state area outlining minimum flow values in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee Flint River Basin signed a memorandum. In a letter from Southern Company, President David Ratcliffe, the Southern Company outlined the minimum flow necessary at Plant Farley at 2000 cubic feet per second.
Mike Daugherty, with Farley Nuclear said, "The minimum flow that was specified was set back in 2003 provides enough flow through the section to sustain all the industries throughout that basin including Plant Farley."
What would put that minimum flow in question? Governor Sonny Purdue made a request to the Army Corp of Engineers to limit the flow of the Chattahoochee River in half, citing the surplus flow is to protect muscles in Florida waterways.
Governor Charlie Crist fired back with a letter to the president saying the states need to work together.
Governor Riley added, "When we start saying that Alabama is trying to protect muscles and mollusks, that's not the case here, this is about working men and women along the Chattahoochee that are going to lose a job."
As for the critical levels in Lake Lanier, some experts say the city of Atlanta has less than 80 days of water left. Officials with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management think otherwise.
Trey Glenn, with ADEM said, "Even under the worst situation, Lake Lanier will sustain for another 250 days."
Governor Riley mentioned several times that Southern Company is based out of Atlanta, and said he's no nuclear scientist, but when they say they need a certain flow of water, he's going to make sure they get that flow.
Governor Riley will meet with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne on Friday to discuss water sharing issues.