Tennessee River can flow uphill

“Harold Crye calls water ‘the gold of the future. In Las Vegas, Phoenix, and maybe Atlanta, it’s going to be a big issue,’ said the president of Crye-Leike Realtors. ‘Chattanooga is in a pretty good position.'”

Water is going to be an issue in Las Vegas and Phoenix? One hopes this poor soul was misquoted. If not, Captain Obvious rides again.

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The above couple of sentences from the remarkably perceptive real estate magnate of Crye-Leike begin an article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on the water crisis facing Atlanta, which has been eyeing the abundant flow of the Tennessee River for some time. Think Chinatown with a southern accent.

Although I grew up in East Tennessee, I now live in Colorado, a state that is said to have more water attorneys than any place in the country. Way out here, we have a saying that goes “Water will flow uphill towards money.” What that means is that, somehow, wherever water is scarce it tends to make its way toward people, companies, and municipalities who have financial pull–even if it has to flow uphill.  Therein lies a problem for Tennessee.

Although the Federal government tends to get involved as much as possible in water matters, now is the time for all good Tennessee politicians to make Georgia an offer the Peach State can’t refuse. If Atlanta wants water, they can have it, if they do the following:

  • Pay for a high-speed rail line connecting Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta
  • Make annual payments to Tennessee with at least seven zeros to the left of the decimal point
  • Begin mandatory water conservation measures for housing, commercial, and government entities

And if Atlanta howls?  Tell em “forget it.  It’s Chinatown.”

This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

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