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Oral History Interview with Edward S. Johnson, October 28, 1985. Interview K-0012. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    In this relatively brief but rich interview, Edward S. Johnson describes one group's efforts to prevent the construction of a reservoir on Cane Creek. Johnson describes the emergence of a coherent grassroots opposition to the project, directed by the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA), and describes how the opposition worked. This grassroots movement was still working to prevent the project at the time of the interview—by proposing alternatives and attacking OWASA in court—but Johnson is resigned that the project will go forward. Developers certainly thought so and were already building in hopes the reservoir will raise property values. This interview is useful for its explanation of grassroots opposition to disruptive projects and for its discussion of the need for absolute solidarity in a successful movement.
  • The slowly rising hostility to the Orange Water and Sewer Authority's (OWASA) plan
  • An unlikely alliance grows to oppose the creation of the Cane Creek reservoir
  • An incident reveals the fragility of grassroots coalitions
  • Farmers must change their practices when farming near a source of drinking water
  • OWASA takes some backup measures when citizen opposition slows the project
  • UNC prevents University Lake being used as an alternative source of water
  • Political squabbling over water use
  • Frustration with the Cane Creek project
  • The power of small decisions in a grassroots coalition
  • Some of the ways in which the Cane Creek community gathered
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Cane Creek (N.C.)
  • Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA)
  • Conservation
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.