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On Eve of Water War, Alabama Sides With Florida Against Georgia

Alabama, not surprisingly, is throwing its legal weight behind Florida in an attempt to keep Georgia from using too much of the Chattahoochee River.

Alabama, not surprisingly, is throwing its legal weight behind Florida in an attempt to keep Georgia from using too much of the Chattahoochee River.

 

A trial is set to begin Monday — Halloween — in Portland, Maine to determine whether Georgia, metro Atlanta in particular, hogs the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers to the environmental and economic detriment of downstream Florida.

 

In readying for the latest legal twist in the never-ending legal battle — 27 years long and running — Gov. Nathan Deal this week shifted another $2.5 million from his emergency fund to pay for lawyers. In all, Deal has set aside $24 million this year alone to fight Florida and, now, Alabama.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed three years ago to hear Florida’s lawsuit which contends that Georgia does not allow an “equitable distribution” of the rivers. Alabama, a participant in earlier legal skirmishes in the so-called tri-state water war, filed a friend-of-the-court brief last week supporting Florida’s call for a cap on Georgia’s water use.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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