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About

The objective of the South Fulton Municipal Regional Water and Sewer Authority is to ensure a reliable water supply for the residents of Palmetto, Union City and Fairburn in the coming decades.

In 1999, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division recognized the need for additional water supply in the South Fulton region. The authority was created in 2000 by the Georgia General Assembly for the purpose of ensuring adequate water supplies for Fairburn, Palmetto and Union City.

After its inception, the authority conducted an exhaustive study of water supply needs in South Fulton. The study revealed the need for new storage capacity to ensure water supplies for residents and businesses. In 2003, the authority issued $41.65 million in bonds to plan, design and construct a 400-acre reservoir that will meet the current and future needs of residents of Palmetto, Fairburn and Union City. Today, the Bear Creek Reservoir is in the federal permitting stage, and will supply 16.44 million gallons per day without relying on specific releases from Lake Lanier. To learn more about the Bear Creek Reservoir,
click here.

The Bear Creek Reservoir project is more important than ever. An historic drought has worsened water supply conditions throughout the metro region and the Southeast, and the state now recognizes the need for reservoirs such as Bear Creek. It is one of six projects currently endorsed by the
Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District.

The region desperately needs more water-storage capacity. Despite 20 years of negotiations, Georgia has been unable to reach a water-sharing agreement with Alabama and Florida. In July 2009, a federal judge gave Georgia three years to reach an agreement or reduce water withdrawals from the Chattahoochee River to 1970s levels. Georgia’s population has grown considerably since that time, and the region is unable to rely on those water-supply levels.

That’s why it’s important to build new water-storage capacity across our region. The Bear Creek Reservoir is an important component of that overall effort. And it is of critical importance to the citizens of Fairburn, Palmetto and Union City. Those citizens have a right, as recognized by the Georgia General Assembly, to ensure adequate water supplies for their region. Currently, Fairburn and Union City rely on the city of Atlanta to supply water. But Atlanta’s own water supplies are imperiled. That makes it even more important for the three cities to develop an independent source of water to meet the needs of current and future residents.