Linder promises to work for water wars solution

The ruling that said much of metro Atlanta's drinking water withdrawals from Lake Lanier are illegal is another problem in a nationwide quandary, Congressman John Linder said.

But this time it could leave his constituents thirsty.

The Republican from Duluth said the recent court ruling echoes another that turned off the spigots in the San Joaquin Valley in California.

While he described the situation as surprising, he said politicians are researching a national solution.

"It is amazing how many pools of reservoir water are used for drinking water that weren't created for it," he said. "Let us give human beings equal consideration with fish."

Linder said he didn't blame the judge for "going back to the basics," but he said he had hoped that equity would have played a bigger role.

"Over 50 years, circumstances change," he said. "Hundreds of communities are going to be affected by this."

During his time in Congress, Linder has focused on water issues, but he said the three-year time frame the judge gave for congressional action would be difficult to manage.

"Water will be to the 21st century what oil was the 20th," he said. "It's going to be difficult, but everybody's trying."

Unterman joins Balfour in NCSL role

Sen. Renee Unterman will play a role in the national debate on human services.

The Buford Republican was named chairman of the Human Services and Welfare Committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at the organization's annual legislative summit in Philadelphia.

For two years, she served as vice chair for the committee, which works on policies on social services, income security, food and nutrition and immigration.

"Being named chairman of this important committee is quite an honor," Sen. Unterman said. "I am a fierce advocate for improving human services on a state and national level. In my role as chairman, I will work with state and federal leaders to stop the sexual exploitation of minors, a disgraceful national problem that continues to grow at an alarming rate."

This means the senator will work along side her Gwinnett colleague, Sen. Don Balfour, of Snellville, who was elected the conference's president earlier this week.

"There is no one better to fill the role of Human Services chairman than Sen. Unterman. She has dedicated herself to reforming Georgia's human services and I know she has a great passion for this on a national level," Balfour said. "I am pleased that I will spend my year serving as president of NCSL alongside Sen. Unterman as chairman of this influential committee. Together, we will give Georgia a strong voice in national politics."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.