BY LORIN SINN-CLARK
In an effort to better understand how to meet future water needs, the Auburn City Council heard a presentation on the “pros and cons of starting up a reservoir” at a called meeting Tuesday night.
Cost is the controlling factor in determining how water needs are met, said attorney Scott Cole, who specializes in water supply planning at the Southeastern law firm of Hall Booth Smith & Slover, P.C.
“When you evaluate all the alternatives,” Cole said, “you may prefer to build a reservoir; but in looking at the whole picture, finding water in other, more affordable ways may be the best course of action.”
Currently, the City of Auburn’s water is supplied by Gwinnett County and the Bear Creek Reservoir. But, with an eye towards growth in the context of the 1998-2002 and 2007-2008 droughts, the city is looking at future water sources.
In addition, since Gwinnett County gets all of its water from Lake Lanier, another factor looming in the city’s future is the impact of the July 2009 ruling that Lake Lanier can’t be monopolized by the Atlanta metro-area. Officials don’t yet know how that will affect Auburn’s water supplies.
The outcome of this ruling will “have a tremendous impact,” Cole said.