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Mornings unPHILtered - What's up with water in Georgia?
Benji Thompson
Benji Thompson
    Wednesday's first guest on the “Mornings unPhiltered” show was Benjamin Thompson, a council member of the Governor's Water Contingency Task Force. He also chairs the Coastal Georgia Water Council. He is currently employed as executive vice president for Economic Development at Ogeechee Technical College.
    Thompson told host Phil Boyum that the water task force grew out of the controversy over the water battles going on between northern Georgia counties over water rights and Lake Lanier. U.S. Superior Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson ruled that Atlanta must change the way they withdraw the Lake Lanier water within three years or their access to that water would be severely restricted after that.
    Governor Purdue is appealing the ruling, and Georgia's Congressional representatives are requesting a new authorization on Lake Lanier water usage. The city of Atlanta refused to help pay for the lake's construction 50 years ago, and therefore was not given specific rights to the lake water in the initial agreement. Another avenue being explored is signing a new agreement with the State of Alabama over alternative sources.
    The councils will first meet at a kick-off event in March. They will create regional water development and conservation plans for their planning regions, focusing on water quantity and water quality issues. Thompson promised that "We're going to make it clear that we're (Coastal Georgia) on the tail end and that we're at the mercy of a lot of upstream users.”
    Ever since the late 1990's efforts have been made to develop a long-term plan for the needs of the Coastal Georgia Water Council, which includes four Bulloch Countians. The Water Task Force is being asked by Atlanta to allow them to use other water sources, which include desalinization and the use of groundwater from other areas. This could even mean pumping water from coastal Georgia up to the Atlanta area.
    Statesboro Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Jamie Riggs was Boyum's second guest on the show. The Professional Women of Statesboro group is holding their first Women's' Career Planning Job Expo today, which will help women prepare their resume and wardrobe for getting a job. The expo will include representatives from many regional employment agencies.
    Laura Lanier, the group's programming director, has set up a whole closet of clothes for a professional woman 'makeover.' The members themselves donated some of the clothes, as did several clothing stores in the area. The Expo will be held today from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Quality Inn in downtown Statesboro. For more information, contact Jamie Riggs at 489-1869 or Erica Sellers 489-2181.
    The Convention and Visitors Bureaus is very busy this Halloween. They will be holding the annual Halloween Candy Trail at Mill Creek Park for all the area's youngsters on Friday. On Saturday evening, there will also be the first “Scare on the Square” festival held at the Bulloch County Courthouse, which will culminate with a ”Thriller” dance, for which free dance practices are still being held. There will also be many other Halloween activities all around Bulloch County. For more information on these Halloween activities, contact Jamie Riggs at 489-1869.
     “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on

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