South Carolina officials want a new agreement with Georgia to limit pumping from the aquifer that provides drinking water to coastal communities in both states.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Catherine Templeton says if an agreement is not reached, the federal courts may have to decide the issue.
The aquifer serves lower South Carolina and the Savannah, Ga., area. As more water is pumped from wells, salt water from the Atlantic enters the water supply. One Hilton Head public service district has lost six wells in the past 12 years.
Georgia has reduced pumping from the aquifer to 52 million gallons a day, down from 85 million in 1990. South Carolina pumps about 7 million gallons, down from 14 million.