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First night of water symposium

Not what I expected. Not that I'm sure what I did expect, but an evening largely focused on the decision by the City of Atlanta (a small part of the metropolitan area) to stick with combined sewers for the 15% of the city that still has 'em was not it.

This was driven by the keynote address by Dr. Wayne Clough, president of Georgia Tech, who has served on the panel that made the recommendation, and by one member of the panel discussion that followed: Dr. Jackie Echols, a political science PhD who seems to be a one-issue lady. She thinks separate sewers are the only way to go, and all else (court-ordered deadlines for action, cost, possible advantages to combined sewers for heavily urbanized areas) can go hang. Despite attempts by all other panel members to broaden the discussion, that's what dominated. (The audience contained enough people interested in the specifics of the issue to assist with questions on it, too.)

Topics tomorrow hopefully will not go too far to the wacko end, though the "water and disease" section may head there. Pharmaceuticals in the streams! Viruses in ground water!

I'm pondering whether to send a polite email to Dr. Clough thanking him for the interesting keynote address, and correcting one error he made. I've heard authors say they'd rather not hear about the nit-picking errors once the book is done--think he would feel the same way about a speech? I would hate for him to use the tidbit again.

(The error: he said that the cone of depression in the Floridan aquifer under Savannah was due to the amount of impervious surface in the city reducing the amount of recharge. BZZT! The Floridan is confined by other sediments under Savannah, and the recharge to the Floridan comes from a hundred miles or more away. The cone of depression is due to over-pumping. Period. Impervious surfaces cause other problems for Savannah, but not that one.)


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2005 03:44 am (UTC)
He'd probably appreciate the correction, especially offstage & as tactful as you are.
Apr. 1st, 2005 10:42 am (UTC)
I agree with Jerrie. That isn't a tiny mistake, and if you are planning policy and procedures, would make a huge difference in what to do about it.
Apr. 1st, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
He's fortunate that the audience didn't include one of those people who enjoy correcting the speaker *while* he's still in front of the room!

I think a nice note from you pointing it out would be welcome. He may feel embarrassed, but not nearly as much as if the next time he says it, one of *those* pops up.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Nancy Barber

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