Water Wars: Another legal victory for Georgia

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled against Alabama and given Georgia another legal victory in the decades-old Water Wars involving the two states and Florida.

Unlike some earlier rulings, including one by the U.S. Supreme Court that favored Georgia, this one does not involve Florida and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (ACF) which includes Lake Lanier. It concerns the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) Basin which, unlike to ACF which originates in northeast Georgia near Helen, has its headwaters in the northwestern part of the state.

Much like the dispute Florida has had with Georgia, Alabama claim in this litigation that Georgia was hanging on to too much water in Lake Allatoona to the detriment of downstream areas in Alabama. In the case of the ACF Basin, Florida said too much water was being kept in Lake Lanier and that was hurting Florida’s oyster industry.

Alabama sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a plan it approved for managing the ACT Basin and the water levels in its lakes. But in his ruling this week, Judge Emmet Sullivan decreed that the Corps, in putting that plan together, followed the law.