Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens addresses members of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s Fall Gala on Nov. 7, 1013.

Metro Atlanta’s water problems could be addressed by striking a deal allowing Chattanooga to claim a second Atlanta airport in return for water from the Tennessee River, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens told Dunwoody business leaders Nov. 7.

“Sooner or later, we need to look at a second airport. Chattanooga wants to be that second airport. I’m interested in helping them be that second airport in return for one hell of a pipe into Georgia,” Olens said, answering a question on how Georgia could get a share of water from the Tennessee River to supplement the Chattahoochee River as metro Atlanta’s chief water supply.

Olens told the more than 75 chamber members attending the organization’s 2013 fall gala at LeeBrant Jewelers that negotiations over water from the Tennessee should be political, not legal, actions.

“This is a really good issue for a second-term governor and it’s a really good issue for other state’s second-term governors,” he said.

Besides, he said, Georgia already was embroiled in lawsuits with South Carolina and Florida, so it might not be wise to engage in a legal action against Tennessee. “I need free passage to at least one state,” he joked.