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Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 12:44pm

Border Fight Could Solve Water Deficit

Updated: 1 year ago.
Georgia lawmakers have hatched yet another plan to resolve a 195-year border dispute with Tennessee. The idea, which the state House approved Tuesday, would involve giving up most of the land in dispute in exchange for access to the Tennessee River. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gonzalez)

Georgia lawmakers have hatched yet another plan to resolve a 195-year border dispute with Tennessee. The idea, which the state House approved Tuesday, would also fix the state's water supply problem, and would involve giving up most of the land in dispute in exchange for access to the Tennessee River.

The northern border of Georgia was meant to be established at the 35th parallel.

But Georgia lawmakers have long contended that a survey conducted in 1818 mistakenly placed the border a mile north of that line.

Now they think they’ve come up with a solution that would also shore up the state’s water supply.

Under the plan, Georgia would give up 66 square miles of disputed land but the border would move to the middle of the Tennessee River.

Gov. Nathan Deal wouldn’t endorse the idea but he said he has already met with the lawyers behind it.

“It is one that I think has some merit attached to it. As we all know, there are our TVA rivers in North Georgia where the water that falls on Georgia soil and flows into those TVA lakes ultimately winds back up in the Tennessee River.”

The resolution now heads to the state Senate. If that chamber approves it, the plan would go next to Tennessee lawmakers, and eventually Congress.

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