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Georgia Loses Appeal Over Ruling That Limited Its Water Use

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In the latest chapter in the ongoing tri-state battle over use of the Apalachicola- Chattahoochee-Flint River basin, the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 12 rejected a petition by Georgia and declined to review a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia relating to allocation of Lake Lanier. Negotiations between Florida, Georgia and Alabama over the use of the basin date back to the 1970s and have led to tristate litigation and intervention by the Secretary of the Interior. In February 2008, the federal appeals court struck down a 2003 agreement between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia and several Georgia water-supply providers that would have provided more water to the drought-ridden state. Georgia claimed that Supreme Court review of the case could have resolved a major portion of the ongoing water negotiations. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) says, “This decision simply maintains the status quo in terms of the operation of Lake Lanier by the Army Corps of Engineers.

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