Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Clifford Kuhn - Chair

Second Advisor

Robert Baker


Twentieth Century Americans witnessed the construction of numerous massive dams that controlled the flow of rivers across the country. Many of these dams were built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve navigation and to provide inexpensive electricity and flood control. This paper will seek to shed light on Georgia’s current water crisis by analyzing the initial purposes behind the building of Buford Dam in North Georgia, investigating how water supply issues were addressed in the first half of the twentieth century, and exploring how expectations of the Chattahoochee River changed over time due in part to metropolitan Atlanta’s population growth. This paper will show that Atlanta area leaders secured appropriations for Buford Dam primarily to obtain a reliable water supply and additional electricity for their burgeoning community.


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