Georgia Wins Water Wars Against The State of Florida

Nya Crea

The decision of the Supreme Court on a case filed in 2013 between Georgia and Florida was in favor of Georgia. The dispute was over the allocation of water that flows between the two states.
Image by Craig Tanner

The court held that Florida could not prove its allegations that Georgia's water consumption from the Chattahoochee and Flint river systems caused the failure of Florida’s oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay. This was in a 9-0 opinion by Justice Amy Barrett.

According to the Justice, “Florida allowed unprecedented levels of oyster harvesting in the years before the collapse,” and “Georgia’s consumption had little to no impact on the bay’s oyster population.”

Florida’s original claim was that increasing water consumption in rapidly growing metro Atlanta was causing unacceptably low flows where the Chattahoochee River enters Florida at Lake Seminole.

However, the position of Florida’s lawyers took a recent change even during oral arguments in court and the blame was apportioned to farmers in the lower Flint River who were consuming lots of water when irrigating their crops.

Atlanta had taken steps toward conserving water and her municipal efforts began to pay off. This then caused a shift in Florida’s strategy.

Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp regarded the decision of the court as a “resounding victory” for Georgia and a vindication of the steps the state has taken to conserve water.

He added in a statement that “Our state will continue to wisely manage water resources and prioritize conservation, while also protecting Georgia’s economy and access to water”

For Georgia’s Attorney General, Chris Carr, “The Supreme Court … affirmed what we have long known to be true: Georgia’s water use has been fair and reasonable,”

“We will continue to be good stewards of our water resources, and we are proud to have obtained a positive resolution to this years-long dispute on behalf of all Georgians.” Carr added.

Florida’s lawsuit sought the court to place a cap on Georgia’s water consumption. Georgia’s lawyers argued such a cap would bring growth in metro Atlanta – and the region’s economy with it - grinding to a halt and devastate Southwest Georgia’s farm belt.

This dispute over water has existed for thirty years and is between three states; Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. It seems however that the dispute is not totally over especially since Alabama is challenging the agreement signed in January between Georgia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that authorized the use of Lake Lanier as a water supply for the first time.

The federally managed reservoir has been supplying water for decades. Its use for this purpose is one of the legal issues contested during this water dispute.

What do you think about this ongoing dispute about water between these three states? Share with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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I love to set trends, my field of expertise is music and entertainment but I also love to talk about lifestyle and what's trending at the moment. Expect to find interesting tips, music advice and interviews but also food blogging (yes I'm a foodie), pretty much, anything that interests me or sparks my attention, I promise to bring it to you!


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