News of the Water Wars Between Georgia & Florida
Our primary purpose is to help folks have a good time when they travel to Lake Lanier. We have information on camping, dining, boating and parks all around Lanier’s almost 700-miles of shoreline. Every once in a while, we’ll let you know what’s happening with the Water Wars between the Great State of Georgia and Florida, where old people go to flee snow and ice.
In legal battles that have endured almost as long as some bitter divorces, Georgia, Florida (and sometimes Alabama) fuss about who gets the water that flows south from Lanier’s Buford Dam.
Snail darters, the fishing industry and nice people who don’t see eye to eye enrich lawyers to carry on their agendas and vendettas. The Lake Lanier Association helps define the issues and helps defend the lake — in the media and in court.
Here is their perspective of the latest Water Wars skirmish in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling on the Florida v. Georgia lawsuit wherein Florida sought an equitable apportionment of the waters in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-
Flint River Basin. Florida claimed that Georgia’s excessive use of water harmed the Apalachicola Bay environmental and fishing industries with a primary emphasis on the oyster industry in the bay.
[On June 27th], the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Special Master with clear instructions to establish more detailed information as to the nature – and amounts – of any harm claimed by Florida.
Equitable apportionment legal precedents require establishing not only the general nature of harm but a balancing of the harm to one state to achieve a benefit to another. The dissent clearly shows the actual harm that would occur to Georgia compared to the potential benefit to Florida of a cap on Georgia’s water consumption.
“The Lake Lanier Association believes that the dissent written by Justice Clarence Thomas presents persuasive facts that were ignored by the majority opinion.”
We can all agree with this statement: “Lake Lanier is the water resource that benefits the entire state of Georgia and all downstream water users, including Florida. Having a sustainable Lake Lanier for the future is critical for all water users.”
We look forward to continuing to make the case for the recreation economy, not only for the counties surrounding Lake Lanier but also for the state of Georgia, and to working with stakeholders in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama to promote the Sustainable Water Management Plan (SWMP) developed by the ACF Stakeholders organization.
We look forward to future comments from LLA.