Georgia Wins Penultimate Battle In Tri-State Water Wars

It took years.  Luckily, it didn’t cost thousands of lives.

Georgia has emerged victorious in a ruling by the US Supreme Court’s Special Master in the decade-plus long water wars over the water flowing from Lake Lanier to Florida.  Greg Bluestein of the AJC has those details:

A special master appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court decided said Florida failed to prove that new limits on Georgia’s water consumption were needed after five weeks of hearing testimony in the case.

“Florida has failed to show that a consumption cap will afford adequate relief,” wrote Ralph Lancaster Jr., the special master appointed to the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court must still accept Lancaster’s findings. There is also a remote possibility that Congress could weigh in, but that becomes a sticky matter for a lot of Western states that don’t care much for the potential of a new precedent.

Kudos go out to Governor Nathan Deal and his staff, former Governor Perdue and his staff, Attorney General Chris Carr and staff, and former Attorney General Sam Olens and staff. Quite a few attorneys worked on Georgia’s behalf, including Brad Carver, Nels Peterson, Jud Turner, Josh Belinfante, Harold Rehies, Carol Couch, Bruce Brown, and Todd Sillman among others.

There’s also the Georgia congressional delegation, many of whom stood united and took a budget vote they didn’t want to take in order to get a measure favorable to Alabama and Florida stripped from an omnibus bill. It was a team effort. And it looks like the Georgia team gets to keep our water. Onward and upward….to Tennessee.

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GeorgiaHackxdogBenevolusDave BearseThe Eiger Recent comment authors
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bethebalance
bethebalance

Still couldn’t hurt to stockpile some water, jic.

The Eiger
The Eiger

You are right, but where will that stockpiled water come from and where would it be stored? There was no need to complicate the ongoing litigation with Alabama and Florida by stockpiling (that’s what lakes do) water in other river basins. Now that we have this win, the option of possibly expanding or building new reservoirs is a viable topic.

bethebalance
bethebalance

did atlanta convert that old quarry into a reservoir yet?

The Eiger
The Eiger

I don’t believe so.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I think they are working on it. I drive by there every day and there are a lot of dump trucks going in and out of there.
https://roadtrippers.com/us/atlanta-ga/nature/westside-reservoir-park

Benevolus
Benevolus

Actually, now that I look at a map I’m not sure those trucks are related to the quarry. There is a paving company right there too that they might be affiliated with.

GeorgiaHack
GeorgiaHack
Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Lurking is the implication by the Special Master that FL should’ve included Corps in its lawsuit.

xdog
xdog

Yep. That mention of the Corps is an invitation to further litigation.

“building new reservoirs is a viable topic.”

Some Georgians of the non-Atlanta persuasion have already finished their discussing and moved on to building. Oconee and Walton County have built a shared reservoir that is filling now. It was financed by extremely cheap state money. There’s another reservoir being built a few miles north of Gainesville that I believe taps the same money supply.

The Eiger
The Eiger

That’s correct and a good thing. But we all know that Florida and Alabama don’t really care about water. They don’t care about Oconee and Walton counties. They care about Georgia, specifically Atlanta, being a large economic engine that they see as harming their own economic interests. This has almost zero to do with water. Another example of this not being about water is Cobb county and the water they return to the Chattahoochee cleaner than when they took it out. If this was truly about water Florida and Alabama would be willing to count the water that is put… Read more »

xdog
xdog

“Florida and Alabama don’t really care about water. . . .They care about harming Atlanta and the metro region.” Where did that come from? The states aren’t engaged in some high-powered version of Risk where you focus on destroying your enemies. This is real world stuff. Florida and Alabama absolutely care about water. So do Georgians, a lot them living downstream from Atlanta. Georgia got a win from the special master but it’s not carte blanche to metro Atlanta to commit water for all the tract homes and office parks they can build. Georgia has an obligation to their long-term… Read more »