U.S. Water News Online
MIAMI -- A tri-state water rights fight is before a U.S.
appeals court in Miami.
In the latest chapter in a 15-year battle, lawyers for Georgia and
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say a federal judge in Alabama has
overstepped her authority by blocking their agreement on Atlanta's
use of Lake Lanier.
But Alabama and Florida say the agreement was properly halted.
Their attorneys say the deal violated a 1990 court ruling that has
governed the case because it was done in secret and violated numerous
federal laws and regulations.
The agreement between Georgia and the Corps of Engineers would
allow Atlanta to draw about 210 million additional gallons of water
each day from Lake Lanier. That would reportedly be enough to meet
Atlanta's projected population growth for another decade.
Alabama, Florida and cities downstream from Atlanta contend the
city's water needs jeopardize their environmental and economic
The Chattahoochee River flows from Lake Lanier along the
Alabama-Georgia border, then joins with Georgia's Flint River to form
the Apalachicola River, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
The case would still be appealed to the full Eleventh Circuit and
ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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