Georgia's hopes for reversing water ruling fading

  • Follow Latest News

WASHINGTON - Georgia is running into more resistance in its bid to convince the Supreme Court to overturn a critical court ruling that undermined the state's water rights.

The Justice Department recently recommended that the high court not take up the case, maintaining in a brief filed last week that Georgia's arguments are flawed and that the issue is not significant enough to merit Supreme Court attention.

Georgia asked the Supreme Court in August to overturn a lower court decision that invalidated an agreement between Georgia and the Army Corps of Engineers for water withdrawals from Lake Lanier, a massive federal reservoir that provides most of Atlanta's water.

Lanier is at the heart of a nearly two-decade water feud among Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

To meet growing needs over the coming decades, Georgia and the corps agreed in 2003 to allow the state's withdrawals to jump from about 13 percent of the lake's capacity to about 22 percent.

Florida and Alabama contested the agreement, arguing that the lake was initially built for hydropower and that providing water to Georgia was not an authorized use.

A federal district court sided with Georgia. But in February, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington overturned that decision, saying the agreement between Georgia and the corps amounted to a major operational change at the reservoir that required congressional approval.

"The federal government has accepted the appellate court's ruling that the secret agreement between Georgia and the Corps of Engineers was illegal, and it's about time for Georgia to accept it as well," said Alabama Governor Bob Riley.

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
zcock 11/20/08 - 04:41 pm
Watch out... Atlanta is going

Watch out... Atlanta is going to put a pipe all the way over to Lake Thurman now!

rufus 11/20/08 - 04:52 pm
No, we're trying to steal

No, we're trying to steal water from TN now. The original survey laying out the boundaries between the 2 states was flawed and should have given GA a piece of the lake in TN

wonderwhy 11/20/08 - 05:06 pm
How can we get 4 inches of

How can we get 4 inches of rain and the lake level go down? I dont trust anything with the governments hands in it! Before long we will have nothing more than a giant mud hole!

gibzgirl 11/20/08 - 05:23 pm
They might as well take some

They might as well take some of Lake Thurmond, isn't like there is enough left in it to safely enjoy anyway.

patriciathomas 11/21/08 - 01:00 am
Be careful what you wish for,

Be careful what you wish for, Atlanta is investigating a line from the Savannah River to supplement its water supply. The city grew beyond it's water supply and doesn't know how to stop. Augusta won't slow it down either.

Back to Top
Top headlines

Fort Gordon Warrior Transition Battalion closing

Fort Gordon's Warrior Transition Battalion, the second-largest in the Army, is one of 10 military medical units nationwide that will be closed by August 2016, as the number of sick and injured ...
Search Augusta jobs