Florida Governor Rick Scott announced Tuesday his state has filed suit against Georgia in the U. S. Supreme Court over water consumption. “Georgia has refused to fairly share the waters that flow between our two states, so to stop Georgia’s unmitigated consumption of water we have brought the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court. Georgia’s over-consumption of water threatens the existence of Apalachicola Bay and the future economic development of the region,” Scott said in a written news release.
The U.S. Supreme Court will not intervene in a tri-state water dispute between Alabama, Georgia and Florida that has threatened the metro Atlanta area's water supply. The decision Monday by the top court means that a ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta still stands. That appeals court ruling was a significant victory for Atlanta and area communities since a lower judge had earlier threatened to severely restrict the region's access to its main water source.
Alabama has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court a ruling that supported metro Atlanta's right to take water from a disputed reservoir that serves as the main water source for roughly 3 million people. Attorneys for Alabama asked the high court to resolve the long-running feud over water usage between Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Florida officials expect to file a similar request shortly.
The state is asking a federal judge to dismiss part of Alabama’s lawsuit over Lake Allatoona. Georgia’s lawyers argue an appeals court decision over Lake Lanier earlier this week renders the Allatoona claims obsolete.
Alabama is asking the US Supreme Court to take up the decades-long tri-state water dispute after a federal court in Atlanta decided not to rehear the case. The 11th District Court of Appeals gave Georgia a favorable ruling earlier this summer, saying Atlanta could tap it for its drinking water needs. Alabama and Florida filed for a rehearing and were denied.
Florida and Alabama want to take Georgia back to court in the decades-long water dispute over Lake Lanier. They want a federal court to rehear their case, after it ruled in Georgia’s favor earlier this summer.
The state senate passed a budget Wednesday that includes two million dollars to study raising the water level of Lake Lanier. Republican Senator Butch Miller is from Gainesville where Lake Lanier sits. He says raising the pool two feet would help the region’s water needs.