Dade County says give peace a chance.

Dade has “memorandum of agreement” to build pipeline to the Tennessee river.

Three years before lawmakers in drought-stricken Georgia passed a measure urging that the border be surveyed again, leaders of Dade County – population 16,000 – began planning for a pipeline to the mighty Tennessee River, which lies tantalizingly close to the state line.

Dade County chief executive Ben Brandon said that under a memorandum of agreement he signed with water firm Brown & Caldwell, engineers in 2005 began scouting possible locations for a pumping station in Dade County and a potential pipeline route to supply parched north Georgia.

The project would likely hinge on a water sharing deal between the two states – or a boundary dispute in Georgia’s favor. But Brandon said the county’s groundwork could help speed things up if Georgia gains access to the powerful river.

“From a public works standpoint, it would be a huge public works project for us,” said Brandon, who describes himself as a “cheerleader” for the project. “It would really bring a lot of attention to the county, and … showcase the resources of the county.”

And if Georgia fails in its longshot bid to move the state line, water experts are also preparing a backup plan to tap the aquifers underlying the region around the river.

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