The state of Georgia has asked a federal appeals court to overturn an order threatening the water supply of roughly
3 million people in metro Atlanta.
Attorney Seth Paul Waxman said during oral arguments Wednesday that Congress contemplated water supply as one reason for building a dam that eventually created Lake Lanier north of Atlanta.
Waxman asked the court to overturn a 2009 ruling by Judge Paul Magnuson that found Atlanta had little legal right to take drinking water from Lanier. Magnuson's order would severely restrict that water flow starting in July 2012 unless Georgia, Alabama and Florida reach an agreement.
Alabama and Florida have said Georgia is using too much water upstream, which harms residents, businesses and fisheries downstream.
Away from the courtroom, the governors of all three states continue negotiations. Georgia governor Nathan Deal says he’s hopeful those talks will yield a solution.