?940 1950 I960 1^70 1980 1990

Figure 10-4 Long-term trends in mean, tenth, and ninetieth percentile statistics computed for summer (July-September) streamflow for the Chattahoochee River (USGS Gage 02336000 at Atlanta, Georgia). Source: USGS, 1999.


The Upper Chattahoochee River case study area includes several counties that are defined by the Office of Management and Budget as Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) or Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSAs). Table 10-1 lists MSA and counties included in this case study. Figure 10-5 presents long-term population trends (1940-1996) for the counties listed in Table 10-1.

From 1940 to 1996, the population in the Upper Chattahoochee River case study area increased dramatically (rising from 0.41 million in 1940 to 3.53 million in 1996). The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported the 1970 population of the Atlanta area to be 1.7 million. By 1990, this number had risen to 2.95 million (Forstall, 1995; USDOC, 1998). During the 1950s through the 1970s, population in the Atlanta region increased by 34 percent to 39 percent; the greatest growth rates were recorded in 1950-1960 (39 percent) and 1970-1980 (38 percent). During the 1980s and 1990s, the rate of growth slowed down considerably: the population increased by 22 percent from 1980 to 1990 and by only 19 percent from 1990 to 1996 (Forstall, 1995; USDOC, 1998). During the 1970s, population density in the area varied by about an order of magnitude from approximately 40 persons per square mile in the rural, headwater areas of the basin to 492 persons per square mile in the urban environs of Atlanta (Faye et al., 1980).

TABLE 10-1 Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Counties in the Upper Chattahoochee Basin Case Study

Barrow County, GA Bartow County, GA Carroll County, GA Cherokee County, GA Clayton County, GA Cobb County, GA Coweta County, GA DeKalb County, GA Douglas County, GA Fayette County, GA Forsyth County, GA Fulton County, GA Gwinnett County, GA Henry County, GA Newton County, GA Paulding County, GA Pickens County, GA Rockdale County, GA Spalding County, GA Walton County, GA

Source: OMB, 1999.

Figure 10-5 Long-term trends in population in the Upper Chattahoochee River basin. Sources: Forstall, 1995; USDOC, 1998.

Land in the Upper Chattahoochee Basin, upstream and downstream of Atlanta, is predominantly forest. The Atlanta area of the basin is predominantly residential. Agricultural activity is fairly evenly distributed through the basin. Table 10-2 shows the major land uses in the basin (Cherry et al., 1980; Lium et al., 1979; Stamer et al., 1979). Agricultural activities above the Buford Dam are concentrated in stream valleys and on the lower slopes. Crops and pastures occupy a significant portion of the agricultural areas, but poultry operations are the economically dominant agricultural activity. Urban areas are predominantly residential, but industrial activities are significant. Industrial activities include automobile assembly, food processing, and light manufacturing. Intense industrial land use dominates the area downstream of Interstate Highway 75 (Mauldin and McCollum, 1992).

Power generation, water supply, water-quality maintenance, and recreation are activities currently supported along the Chattahoochee River. Six power-generating facilities use the resources of the Chattahoochee River. The Buford Dam and Morgan

TABLE 10-2 Land Use in the Upper Chattahoochee River Basin

Percentage Breakdown

TABLE 10-2 Land Use in the Upper Chattahoochee River Basin

Percentage Breakdown


Area (mi2)




Above Buford Dam


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