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Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 12:48pm

Perdue Outlines Strategy in Water War

Governor Sonny Perdue says he’s ready to head back to the bargaining table to work out a water deal with Alabama and Florida, but appears doubtful of a positive outcome.

“Alabama chose to rely on their litigation strategy we had a deal that was really a day away from consummation and signing in 2007 that was walked away from. But, the judge's ruling has more than likely given Alabama and Florida reason to say, 'why negotiate?'”

A federal judge has given the three states three years to work out a water sharing plan over Lake Lanier, or face sharp cuts to Atlanta’s water supply.

After meeting with state and local leaders on Thursday, the Governor outlined the state's strategy to fight a federal ruling which jeopardizes Atlanta's water supply.

Among the strategies...

"Pursuing aggressively information awareness and a common impact to our congressional delegation to nationalize this issue, to make all of Congress understand this issue that just not only affects the Chattahoochee basin but really all of the United States."

The Governor also said the state will look at contingency plans, including taking water from the Savannah River basin and as well as an appeal of a recent federal court decision.

"We think there are some rulings there within the judge's decision, that are susceptible, I would even say vulnerable to appeal, but again, we won't be relying solely on that strategy."

Last week's ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson gives Georgia, Florida and Alabama three years to settle its long standing water war, or Georgia faces a sharp cut in Atlanta's water supply.

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