Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Florida-Georgia water war reaches Supreme Court; Florida says Georgia overusing water

The long-running water-use dispute between Florida and Georgia has reached the U.S. Supreme Court, Bill Cotterell reports for Reuters. The court "agreed on Monday to hear an interstate dispute on whether Atlanta's suburbs are sucking dry the river flow that feeds the oyster beds and fisheries of the northern Gulf Coast."

"Georgia had sought to dismiss the suit, filed last October by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, that stems from a decades-old fight over Atlanta's daily demand for 360 million gallons of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint river basins," Cotterell writes. "Florida blames the over-consumption of water by its neighbor for the collapse of the oyster beds in Apalachicola Bay, which had produced 90 percent of the oysters sold in Florida and 10 percent of the country’s supply." (Economist photo)

Florida argues that the growing population of Atlanta will lead to Georgia’s daily consumption of water  growing to 705 million gallons per day by 2035, Cottrell writes. Scott said in a statement: "We are fighting for the future of this region, and we won’t quit until these resources are restored."

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal "issued a statement saying he agreed with attorneys for the Army Corps of Engineers, who argued that Florida’s case was 'premature,'” Cottrell writes. Deal urged the federal government not to "get bogged down by Florida’s litigation." (Read more)

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