Word: Asphalt desert

Has metro Atlanta’s growth and development had any effect on the metro region’s water shortage? It depends who you ask.

“Absolutely not!”

— State House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s response when CL Senior Editor John Sugg asked him on Nov. 18, “Do you think development has contributed to the water problems?”

“In Atlanta, for example, the model shows that between 59.9 and 132.8 billion gallons of groundwater infiltration may have been lost in 1997 compared to 15 years earlier. That is enough water to supply the average daily household needs of between 1.5 and 3.6 million people per year.

— Page 8 from “Paving Our Way to Water Shortages,” a 2002 study by Smart Growth America, the Natural Resources Defense Council and American Rivers on the amount of groundwater lost because of development