No Drinking water? That’s what everyone is talking about now. In my opinion, it is a nice change from all the recent hype of the November 6th vote on the proposed liquor by the drink ordinance within Fannin County. However, due to the worsening drought conditions, the Georgia EPD has declared a Level 4 drought for most of the northern state of Georgia. This has banned all types of residential outdoor water use.
“The drought of 2007 has reached historic proportions, so it’s critical that we take immediate action to ensure Georgians have a sufficent supply of safe drinking water,” said EPD director Carol A. Couch.
What has this done for homeowners on Lake Nottely, Lake Blue Ridge, and Lake Chatuge? Well, it has made them very concerned. I have a home on Lake Nottely, and our lake levels never even came close to being full this year. Many of our neighbors docks never even made it to the water this year. The Tennessee Valley Authority has stated that these extended drought conditions across the Tennessee Valley has caused many of the tributary reservoirs on the Tennessee River System to stay well below their targeted levels. Some have long since reached winter levels and many more are averaging 23 feet below normal.
We are not the only ones feeling the affects of the Great Drought of 2007! The Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated most of metro Atlanta is Thirsty For A Water Plan. I would say so with talks that Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona could be dry by the beginning of 2008. It seems as if Governor Sonny Perdue could be forced to take action soon. I guess they have to deal with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers like we have to deal with the TVA about the lake levels.
How is this effecting us in the Real Estate market? On Lake Nottely, sales where down year over year 42%. But while water levels remained a little higher on Lake Blue Ridge, sales there were actually up 40%. Over on lake Chatuge, they felt the drought both ways as well with sales dropping 30%. I feel our Buyer’s have enough to be concerned with, they don’t need anything else. They are already concerned with the Mortgage Industry and it’s recent shake ups. They are also concerned with whether or not the interest rates are going down again. Buyer’s have enough to be worried with, they certainly don’t need to hear that poor old Mrs. Green’s well ran dry last week, or talks that our lakes are dangerously close to the point where we can’t even draw for drinking water. I am afraid that a majority of the folks are being pushed away from the thoughts of purchasing property on our mountain lakes because of the levels at which they remained most of this year.
Bottom line, we need rain! Last night we got ourselves a good ol’ gully washer, but we could use several more if we are to recover from this severe drought.
Last reports I read we were near 50% below our normal water table and worse than that, we were over 50% down from the run-off water.
The Georgia Water Council is working on a Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Plan. The Georgia Association of REALTORS® has taken a stance on the issue and is encouraging all Georgia Realtors to give their support.