The U.S. Supreme Court Monday denied a request by Florida and Alabama to review the so-called tri-state water war case the two states are fighting against Georgia. The dispute over water rights between the three states has spanned decades.
Florida and Alabama appealed a ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that benefited Georgia.
The appellate court overturned a lower court ruling that had placed a strict timeline for Georgia’s cities to dramatically cut back on withdrawals from Lake Lanier, a federal reservoir on the Chattahoochee River, which flows into Alabama and Florida.
“By denying a hearing of the decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the tri-state water case, the nation’s highest court has affirmed that drinking water was always an authorized use of Lake Lanier,” said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
“We can now move forward with this issue behind us, have the governors work together and come to a long-term agreement that will provide for the water needs of all three states,” Deal said.
The appellate court ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate water withdrawals from the lake.
On Tuesday, the corps issued a report saying that it is authorized to allow metro Atlanta communities to withdraw water, but still must determine how much.