Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Water War Supreme Court date set for October 1st

The US Supreme Court will likely hear the arguments in the ongoing water war between Florida and Georgia in October.
The court this month set an October 31st trial date.
It is possible that a settlement could be reached before then; the two states are in negotiations.
This case, which will likely define the future of this area, resolves around how water in the Apalachicola Chattahoochee Flint River system is shared by Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
Florida, Georgia and Alabama have been fighting over water use from the river system for over 20 years, and the three states have not been able to agree on a way to share water.
The State of Florida filed suit against Georgia in 2014 to try to reduce the amount of water Georgia is taking from the River System.
Florida wants the court to order Georgia's water withdrawals to be capped at 1992 levels and for a special master to be appointed to oversee how the waters in the river basin are divided.
The Metro-Atlanta area primarily gets its water from the Chattahoochee River with withdrawals totaling 360 million gallons per day.
Georgia’s consumption is expected to nearly double to 705 million gallons per day by 2040, if Atlanta’s population and water consumption grows unchecked.
Florida believes that Georgia’s excessive consumption has brought historically-low water flows into the Bay and has caused oysters to die because of higher salinity, increased disease and predator intrusion in the Bay.
Until recently, Apalachicola Bay accounted for approximately 10 percent of the nation’s Eastern oyster supply. 
The oyster industry in Apalachicola collapsed in 2012 leading to a Commercial Fisheries Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2013.