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January 24, 2008

New drought victim? Water rides

Georgia's been suffering through a drought recently, and it's about to affect one more aspect of locals' lives.

Their water parks. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Six Flags Over Georgia might have to shut down three water rides this spring and summer, due to the lower water levels in the metro Atlanta area.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on January 24, 2008 at 5:48 PM
For someone living in an area where a major new waterpark (Aquatica) is about to open that's a fairly startling report.
From steve lee on January 24, 2008 at 9:51 PM
Yeah, apparently the drought is approaching "seriously bad" levels for Atlanta. I don't recall what program I was listening to, but I heard someone on the radio mention that if the current situation didn't improve, the problem was going to reach critical mass around March (when people can't flush their toilets anymore). I think that was largely hyperbole, but this is still a very serious issue.

But I notice that only 3 attractions are listed, where SFOG has a fourth water ride (I think it's currently creatively named "Log Flume"). I wonder why that ride wasn't specifically mentioned as well. While it certainly uses less water than the other three attractions, I would think we're dealing with an "every drop counts" situation.

I vaguely remember "Donald's Boat" being shut off a while back. It was reported in some places to be a result of a drought Florida was going through (yet both water parks stayed wide open. Go figure). Of course, I don't think Donald's Boat really went through enough water to make a difference in the first place.

From Robert Niles on January 25, 2008 at 12:03 AM
A big issue for Atlanta, from what I've read, is negligently poor planning, allowing the area to add millions of new residents with securing significant new water rights. (At least L.A. had the foresight to rip off the Owens River valley those many years ago. /sarcasm)

From what I understand, a flume ride that just recirculates its water often doesn't use as much as an attraction (such as a water slide), where people will come into contact with the water, requiring a constantly fresh supply. So that might be in play here.

Also, it might not be an issue here, but a drought provides a handy excuse to shut down a ride that needs maintenance work done for leaks. No sense paying for leaking water when rates are going up, after all.

From claudia maffei on January 25, 2008 at 3:38 PM
I think all fountains and water parks and anything with unessary water should be shut down. There are some places in the south which have certain hours of the day that they have water and they have shut people off! I would hate to see that happen in Georgia.
I live in Arizona and know about water shortage. It is scary and can happen anywhere and with the weather changes who knows what is going to happen. They will have a drought for 7 years and it will most likely get much much worse than it is now and then they will have floods for 7 years.
It is bad for Georgia and until they find a new water supply people and the need should come first not beauty and fun. Save some for the fish and people right. :)
From Shawn Mac Lean on January 25, 2008 at 6:05 PM
Hello all and good day. I live just outside of Atlanta and I can tell you it is bad here. I have seen ponds and small lakes dry up here. I work for home depot in the plumbing dept. and I have had many people going over to well water in stead of city water. Atlanta and the surrounding area gets its water from a river that starts out from a spring!

Hope we all have a answer to all this mess. Most business's are not allowed to use water for plants, car washes and other such needs.

We can;t even wash our own cars! I am building a Grey water system to catch tub water to water the plants around my house. Grey water is not drinkable and I have a septic tank so it would no go back to river any way.

Well thought I would let you get first hand report from someone that live here.

God bless.

From Mike Duchock on January 28, 2008 at 9:40 AM
I work at Stone Mountain Park located 16 miles east of Downtown Atlanta. We started making snow for our new Coca-Cola Snow Mountain attraction (snow tubing & a snow play area) last October when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution did a story on us and the amount of water being used. We had the necessary approvals at the time but decided to cancel the attraction for 2007-2008 due to the drought. In the same article about us SFoG was mentioned, saying that they shut down their 4 water attractions because of the drought even though they always close those attractions that late in the season due to decling attendance, staffing levels and colder weather.

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