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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

High Court limits Georgia's water grab



The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Georgia cannot nearly double its withdrawals from Lake Lanier, Atlanta's main water source, a victory for Apalachicola Bay oystermen, fishermen and others downstream.

With drought still gripping northwestern Georgia and other parts of the Southeast, Florida and Georgia have been battling over water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system. The court's ruling affirms an appeals court finding that a deal between Georgia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was a "major operational change" and required congressional action.

It would have allowed Georgia to boost its use from 13 percent of Lanier's capacity to 22 percent, sharply limiting downstream flow.

"Our next step is to make sure that this ruling ... is recognized by the Corps and reflected in the Corps update of the water control manuals," Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, said in a statement.


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:12pm]


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