Water We Fightin’ For?



Waterblogged has the story’s visual: a picture of Chuck Connor as the Rifleman. It’s come to the power of the long rifle–the controversy that brings Georgia to fightin’ words aimed at neighbor Tennessee. This is a true story–and certainly not the last of state with state controversies over who owns the water. Stay tuned. Chuck’s going to be busy.


You can read the full story in the Atlanta newspaper about the move to revise an 1818 survey that would bring a piece of the Tennessee River back into the parched state of Georgia.


Fortunately, the mayor of Chattanooga is taking it well. You can read his proclamation of whereas’s that ends as follows

…WHEREAS, it is deemed better to light a candle than curse the darkness, and better to offer a cool, wet kiss of friendship rather than face a hot and angry legislator gone mad from thirst, and


WHEREAS, it is feared that if today they come for our river, tomorrow they might come for our Jack Daniels or George Dickel,


NOW THEREFORE, In the interest of brotherly love, peace, friendship, mutual prosperity, citywide self promotion, political grandstanding and all that


I Ron Littlefield, Mayor of the City of Chattanooga, Tennessee,

Do hereby Proclaim that Wednesday, February 27, 2008 shall be known as


“Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day” (read it all at Waterblogged). 

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Living in the Atlanta metro area, we haved watched elected officials, from the Governor down, give real estate developers every possible break in terms of infrastructure. Conservation has been ignored and ridiculed.

    Now that a drought has brought the shortcomings of the “develop everything now” philosophy to the forefront, the elected officials have decided to go after Tennessee’s water.

    Slowing development is not an option for these “leaders.” It goes without saying who financed their election campaigns.

  2. I can always count on you to keep me updated on the water situation in my own backyard–it’s shameful how little I keep up with the local politics that govern my environment.

    I love the mayor of Chattanooga’s response to our petty water kleptomanism–I just hope he fights whatever my city tries to do to TN. Since we failed with AL and FL, it’s sad to see us bullying TN now.