Q: Why is it important that South Fulton Municipal Regional Water and Sewer Authority build a reservoir in South Fulton County?

A: The metro Atlanta region is in desperate need of new water storage capacity to meet current and future needs. Anticipated population growth in the authority’s service region shows that the need for more water will grow over time. Building the Bear Creek reservoir will ensure adequate water supplies for the current and future citizens of Fairburn, Palmetto and Union City.
Q: Why is the city of Atlanta objecting to the South Fulton Municipal Regional Water and Sewer Authority building a reservoir?

The city of Atlanta would like to continue to supply water to south Fulton communities. Atlanta argues that its capacity to service its bonds is imperiled if the cities are able to obtain an independent water source. The authority has pointed out that revenues from the sale of water to South Fulton are minuscule and will not in any way prohibit Atlanta from servicing its bonds. Moreover, the three cities are under no obligation to purchase water from the city of Atlanta. Quite to the contrary: The authority is charged with ensuring adequate water supplies for the citizens of its service area, and studies have demonstrated that an independent water source is the best alternative.
Q: Will the reservoir in South Fulton be used for recreational purposes?

A: The reservoir is proposed for water supply purposes. Therefore, water quality is the chief concern. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has very specific limitations on the types of recreational activities allowed on a water supply reservoir. EPD sometimes allows fishing, electric motor boats and in some cases, community docks and boat ramps.
Q: How large will it be?

The proposed Bear Creek reservoir will span 440 acres and will ultimately provide up to 16.44 million gallons of water per day to South Fulton residents.
Q: If the reservoir is built, will the cities of the South Fulton still have to buy water from the city of Atlanta?

A: The reservoir will provide an independent source of water for the residents of South Fulton County. No longer will they be dependent on outside jurisdictions for their water supply.
Q: Why not just continue to buy water from the city of Atlanta?

Water supplies are imperiled across the metro region, including Atlanta’s. 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.
Q: If the reservoir is built, will the South Fulton authority be able to sell water to surrounding communities?

A: The Bear Creek reservoir has the capability to expand and supply the water needs of South Fulton residents through 2050 – and could possibly meet the water needs of surrounding communities as well.
Q: How is economic growth affected by water supplies in South Fulton?

By securing an adequate and stable source of water, South Fulton will be able to attract more industry and jobs. Growth that has typically gone to the north side of the region will come south, making our region a more attractive place to locate a business and to live. By securing a stable water supply source, we will not only meet the water needs of our citizens over the next four decades, but will attract more growth and prosperity to South Fulton as well.