A ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June handing Georgia a victory over drinking water withdrawal rights from tributaries in the Atlanta area may be in jeopardy. Alabama and Florida last week asked the appellate court to reconsider its ruling in the so-called water war between the states that has gone on well over a decade.
“Because of the importance of the waters of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin to the state of Alabama and its citizens … I believe that the full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals should vacate the opinion issued by the three judge panel earlier this year and rehear the case,” Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said.
The June opinion set aside a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Paul Magnuson, who had set a strict time schedule for Georgia’s cities to dramatically cut back on withdrawals from Lake Lanier near Atlanta, which is linked to tributaries that flow into Alabama and Florida.
The appellate court ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate water withdrawals from the lake.