Saturday, March 5, 2011

Welcome to H2O-lanta, Atlanta's water blog!

Hello y'all!  It seems some introductions are in order.  First off, why am I interested in water?  And what do I have to add to the conversation?  I have spent the majority of my life living in coastal California, where water is constantly on everyone's mind.  Southern California is utterly dependent on imported water in order to support its economy - from tourism, to the military, to construction and agriculture.  The region's growth would not be possible without water imported from Northern California and especially the Colorado River.  While in graduate school studying United States History, I found Californian's relationships to water so interesting that I wrote my PhD dissertation on water infrastructure development in early twentieth century San Diego, California.  Now I am teaching in the History Department at Georgia State University, and continue to read widely about local, regional, national, and global water-related issues. 

I heard about Atlanta's water woes during the region's latest drought, but didn't think much about it, until I relocated here at the end of last summer.  Now that I'm living in Atlanta, it is time to do a little research on my new local water system.  This blog will record what I discover as I learn more about Atlanta's drinking water and people's interactions with the local environment.  The Southeast is not generally considered arid, so what's the deal with a water shortage?  Is this something new?  Where does our water come from?  What are the most urgent current issues pertaining to the water system?  How does access to water impact the local community, those downstream, and the environment?  Most importantly, what are some possible solutions for a more stable and sustainable water future for the metro Atlanta area?  Coming from an area that is constantly plagued by drought, maybe Californians have some insight to share with Georgians - both in terms of successes and potential pit-falls to avoid.  Lets solve Atlanta's water problems, one step, or one drop, at a time.


  1. Hi Professor Martin, I am a Kevin Talley, a student in your Survey of U.S. History class (Tue and Wed 1:00pm). I am trying to subscribe to the site. How do I subscribe? I hope that this message activates the subscription to the blog.

  2. Hi Kevin - You're listed as a "follower." Thanks for subscribing.

    Dr. Martin

  3. Dr.Martin is AMAZING!! I never knew water had so much impact on Atlanta! And I'm not saying this just because I'm her favorite student in the Tues/Thurs 2:30pm class :D CNN is really missing out on some insightful news! Keep up the good work Dr. "H20" Martin - keithni woodside :)

  4. Hello Dr. Martin,
    I am Talaya E. McCain, in your 1pm Tuesday and Thursday. I'm trying to subscribe.

  5. Hi Professor Martin, I am Lich van Oosterhout, a student in your U.S. History class,
    Interesting read so far.
    One remark, i am living in a neighbourhood where a lot off folks seem to resort to drilling their own well
    apparently no permit is needed for this activity
    but i was wondering how all this well drilling is impacting the atlanta area water supply ?

  6. Dr. Martin. I'm a 5th grade teacher at an Atlanta school. We'll be studying water in Atlanta soon. I am looking for a resource that describes how Atlantans get tap water--from rainfall to spigot, kind of thing. Any suggestions?