U.S. Water News Online
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Akron, Ohio must continue the same daily
flow to downstream communities from its drinking water reservoir
under a 95-year-old state law granting it water rights to the
Cuyahoga River, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled.
The high court ended an eight-year legal battle by directing
Portage County Common Pleas Court to order the city to allow 8.1
million to 9.5 million gallons of water daily flow over its dam
creating Lake Rockwell, a drinking water reservoir. The ruling
modifies an appellate court ruling that did not specify the amount of
The Portage County communities of Cuyahoga Falls, Kent, Munroe
Falls and Silver Lake sued in 1998, saying Akron takes too much water
for city use and to sell to its suburbs. The communities are stuck
between the dam and the point where Akron returns treated, used water
to the river.
Akron had argued that a 1911 state law gave it unlimited right to
the water in the Cuyahoga, but the justices said the right only
extends to water touching land the city owns.
The court allowed Akron's boating ban on Lake Rockwell.
Three justices dissented with part of the opinion, saying they
would order the release of nearly 11 million gallons daily, which
would be closer to the river's natural flow, and allow boating
because the lake is part of the Cuyahoga, which is a navigable river.
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