News | June 29, 2011

Water ruling reveals Alabama’s lack of planning

A ruling yesterday by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in the decades-long water fight between Georgia, Alabama and Florida was viewed by politicians as a “win” for Georgia and “loss” for Alabama. But the real message is that both states must get serious about managing the region's shared water resources more responsibly, and sustainably.

The court ruled that Atlanta can use Lake Lanier–a reservoir in the Chattahoochee River watershed–for drinking water, overruling a lower court's finding.  It gave the Corps of Engineers a year to determine how much lake water Atlanta can use.

Alamaba, which shares the Chattahoochee River with Georgia, will likely appeal the ruling. As SELC's Gil Rogers told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that, while legal fight can go on for years, both states should continue to work toward a settlement and do a better job of managing their water resources for the long haul.

Read SELC's press statement here.