Thursday, February 21, 2008

Old black water, keep on rollin'

There's been a lot of talk about water here in Georgia lately. If you're stateside and pay attention to the news, you know how bad the drought is in this part of the country. Now the good folks at our state legislature have hit on a plan to bring more water into the state.

They want to annex part of Tennessee.

Not much of it, just a little slice of the Tennessee River and most of Chattanooga with it.

According to the sponsors of a bill that would redraw the state line, the state line was never drawn correctly in the first place. Apparently, back in 1818, a surveyor mis-marked where the line should be because he was using nautical equipment to do the survey. Supporters of the "redraw" plan also have said there were forest fires, and he was being harassed by Native Americans while trying to figure out where the state line was.

The bill has now cleared the state senate unanimously, and the state house is lookng at a similar bill that would encourage a resurveying of the line.

Of course, Congress has to approve any moving of the state line, and I'm pretty sure Tennessee isn't going to go along with this.

I do find it amusing, though, since that whole area is where my in-laws live. Folks up there have been joking about a new "civil war". If I was living in Chattanooga, my biggest gripe in moving to Georgia would be about having to pay state income taxes, since Tennessee doesn't have them.

I honestly can't wait to see what happens with this. Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee have been duking it out for a while over water sharing, since all three states are suffering from the drought. But there's no doubt that Atlanta, with it's huge population, is definitely in dire straits, if they had any water to make a strait. I can't help but imagining little "water militias" popping up all along the state lines. Alabama already has a group that calls itself the Alabama Minutemen, although they're primarily concerned with illegal immigrants right now. I'm sure they'd be up for defending a river, though.

Lawmakers in Tennessee are questioning the sudden desire to correct a two-hundred year old mistake, but Georgia lawmakers claim they've been protesting this for years and nothing has been done about it. I think they may have to protest for another two hundred years before that thing gets changed.

By the way, the picture is a Thomas Nast Harpers Weekly illustration of the Battle of Lookout Mountain, which is in Chattanooga. I got it from this site: It's a great site that has many Civil War era images, and despite the name, has some Union stuff, too. If you like history, please check it out.


Iota said...

Hm, it does sound more like a move with a vested interest than a desire to right historical wrongs. Keep us posted on developments.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching and reading about this story with great interest. I think I understand it this way. When the boundry was first drawn it was drawn along the 35th parallel. Once it was completed, the surveyor admitted an error but they never changed it. This will be interesting to see how it's handled. In the meantime, are Georgia and Tennessee drawing up troops along the border?

Jen said...

iota Meh, it's just politics as usual. I'd still like to see a little war break out.

grandview I honestly thought the bill would die in the senate, but it seems everyone in the state capital is deadly serious about this. I think the war should be fought with water balloons, but there's not enough water to fill 'em *grin* No troops yet, but mostly because Tennessee isn't taking this as seriously as Georgia. And you're right about the 35th parallel. Of course, having been up there, I can see how he might have had difficulty surveying the territory. There's some rough terrain through there.

Kaycie said...

That's pretty interesting. I suppose it'll be a moot point again if a little rain falls soon.

Mya said...

I suppose if they re-draw the line today, they'd do it via satellite and no mistake would be made. I wonder what the original surveyor would make of that?
It might be more straightforward to just get everyone rain dancing -and more fun.

So glad you had a good rest-up at the weekend. Take care now.

Mya x

laurie said...

water rights are crucial. when i lived in duluth, the publisher of my newspaper (who was from the southwest) used to talk about how one of the biggest issues of the future would be water rights--he envisioned a day when the southwest would want to build a pipeline to Lake superior and drain it of its water.

we all thought he was crazy.

until.... that very issue came up a few years ago.

the longer we choose to populate arid parts of the country where there isn't enough water to sustain the population, the more of an issue this is going to be.

my two cents said...

Have you ever seen Chinatown?

Anonymous said...

Chattanooga, Georgia? It just doesn't have the poetry of Chattanooga, Tennessee, but I suppose nobody will take that into account.

Of course, we Southern Californians steal our water from everyone (although not yet from Lake Superior...but that's probably coming). Maybe we ought to annex Oregon.

Jo Beaufoix said...

So glad you got a rest sweetie, and sorry I'm on catch up. Mya's comment was so true. It's amazing how things have changed.