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Friday, August 7, 2009 - 7:30am

Confidentiality Agreements Could Hinder Water Talks

Governor Perdue may not talk with Florida and Alabama about sharing water, unless they agree to lift confidentiality agreements about the negotiations.

Governor Perdue and Alabama Governor Bob Riley have been in a war of words over who failed in water negotiations two years ago. No one can find out because of a confidentiality agreement put in place to give all parties room to talk freely.

Perdue says Georgia had a good offer, but Alabama walked away.

Alabama says that’s not true.

Governor Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley says lifting confidentiality in any future water talks is key for Perdue.

“He believes that confidentiality has gotten in the way of an agreement," says Brantley.

"I don’t think he’s intending to go into any future negotiations with a hindrance like that on the table.”

In any negotiations Georgia would be the weakest partner, because a federal judge ruled that Georgia has only three more years to figure out a way to get drinking water out of Lake Lanier for Metro Atlanta.