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Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 8:45am

State Lawmaker Wants UGA Football As Bargain Tool In Water Wars

Updated: 5 years ago.
UGA football fans at Sanford Stadium. (photo courtesy Wikimedia).

One state lawmaker has a new way to fight neighboring Florida over the issue of water rights to Lake Lanier—football.

State Senator John Douglas says Georgia needs to use an economic tool in the water wars battle. To that end, the Social Circle Republican says the annual Georgia-Florida college football game should be taken from Jacksonville at least once every two years:

"In the past I’ve not had an opinion on this particular aspect of the Georgia-Florida game, but I do now. I think with the unemployment at record highs in Georgia...I think with the terrible recession, we can no longer afford the luxury of sending $25 million a year to Florida."

Douglas says this may be one of the few ways to engage Florida to negotiate in the water matter. Last week, a federal judge gave Georgia three years to come to a solution with neighbors Florida and Alabama over rights to Lake Lanier. If not, metro Atlanta's tap for drinking water from the reservoir will be shut off.

Currently, Jacksonville is annual host to the Bulldogs and Gators gridiron clash. But the contract is up for renewal after this season.

Douglas says he sent a letter to University of Georgia president Michael Adams to help in working to bring the game here at least once every two years.

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