The Union Recorder

Columns

September 7, 2013

ROWLAND: Give ‘em an inch, and they might just take our rivers

MILLEDGEVILLE — Mama and I were recently out for one of our Saturday morning walks, and for the life of me I can’t remember how the conversation began, but we somehow got on the subject of the water war between Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Must have been a slow conversation day around the Rowland house.

In a nutshell the water dispute has to do with the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin, which flows from northwest Georgia south along the border of Alabama and empties into Florida’s Apalachicola Bay.  The Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa basin also begins in northwest Georgia and empties into Alabama’s Mobile Bay. 

The argument focuses on the fact that we seem to want to keep our water because Atlanta is thirsty.  Florida wants our water because it contributes to a healthy shellfish crop in Apalachicola Bay. Alabama wants our water because … well, they are just Alabama.

I am explaining this all to my wife when she finally says, “Why don’t we just annex them into Georgia.  We already own the water. That’ll teach ‘em.”

That reminds me of a story I once heard told by the great Cajun storyteller Justin Wilson. It seems a Cajun and a Texan are talking about everything offered by their respective states. The Texan points out how much better Texas is than Louisiana. They have the biggest of this and the biggest of that. Blah, blah, blah. 

Finally, the Texan says to the Cajun, “But you Cajuns got one thing in Louisiana that I wish we had in Texas.”

“What that is?” replies the Louisianan in perfect Cajun dialect.

“The Mississippi River,” the Texan states emphatically.

The Cajun rubs his chin in thoughtful consideration, and replies to the Texan “I have just the answer.  We will build a pipeline from New Orleans, Louisiana to Houston, Texas. And if you Texans can suck in just one-tenth as much as you can blow out, well you’ll have it in thirty seconds, I’ll guarantee.”

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