The event, hosted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Water Council, starts at 6 p.m. at The Forum in downtown Rome.
Click here to see the proposed statewide water management plan.
Joe Cook, CRBI executive director and Riverkeeper, said the admittedly unattractive paper hats in the shape of a Coosa River mussel are meant to underscore the regions commitment to preserving its water quantity and quality.
Well be passing out the hats to anyone who will wear one, the CRBI director said. The message Dont Mess with our Mussel, No Interbasin Transfers refers to both our river mussels and the economic muscle that enough clean water provides.
An average of 25 million gallons of water a day is pumped from Lake Allatoona to serve metro Atlanta counties and is flushed into the Chattahoochee River instead of returned to the Coosa. The interbasin transfer is projected to grow to 60 million gallons a day by 2030.
While CRBI wants the state plan to prohibit such transfers, the Rome and Floyd County commissions are asking that any water withdrawn be returned.
We dont mind sharing our water with them, but they should have to send it back in the form of highly treated wastewater, said Jerry Jennings, county commission chairman and chairman of the 15-county Northwest Georgia Regional Water Resources Partnership.
Local officials are urging residents in the region to flex their collective political muscle at the town hall meeting.
We need a huge crowd at that thing, Rome City Commissioner Wright Bagby Jr. said.
The plan is scheduled to be finalized this fall and presented to the Georgia General Assembly for action in January.
This is probably our last chance to be heard before it goes to the Legislature, Rome Mayor Ronnie Wallace said.
The Water Council also is accepting comments through Oct. 30 on its Web site and by mail at 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 1152, East Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334.